updated 10/24/2005 2:23:09 PM ET 2005-10-24T18:23:09

Here are some tips for how to avoid injury while exercising as you age.

  • Warm up and stretch first. Muscles are not as flexible as they used to be.
  • Don’t be a “weekend warrior.” People who exercise three to five days a week are at less risk for injury that someone who does nothing all week then goes full throttle on the weekend.
  • Take lessons, even if you’re not a newcomer to a sport. Proper form and instruction reduce the chance of such injuries as tendinitis or stress fractures.
  • Invest in good equipment. Select the proper shoes for your sport, use them only for that sport, and replace them when they lose support or the treads show wear.
  • Listen to your body. Pain, swelling and stiffness can be signals it’s time to modify an exercise routine.
  • Use the 10 percent rule. Increase activity levels in increments of no more than 10 percent per week, whether you’re calculating miles walked or pounds lifted.
  • Strive for balance. To prevent injury, and boredom, exercise regimens should include cardiovascular exercise, strength training and flexibility.
  • Add new exercises with care. Devoted exercisers and sedentary beginners alike can get injured if they take on too many activities at once.
  • Anyone who has had injuries such as tendinitis, arthritis, stress fracture or low back pain should work with an orthopedic surgeon on a fitness routine that promotes good health and minimizes injury risk.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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