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    Stay Fit and Injury-Free After 70

    How to avoid strains and pain

    Stay Fit Injury Free Stretch Lunges Run

    Help to reduce knee strain by doing lunges. — Knut Schulz/Corbis

    En español | Now that you're back in action, your 70-plus-year-old body might need a little more TLC than it used to. The biggest challenge?

    "We get the 'terrible toos' — we do too much, too soon, too often," says Vonda J. Wright, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of Fitness After 40. Here, Wright highlights the four injuries most likely to knock us out of the game — and the best exercises to prevent them.

     

     

    Stay Fit Injury Free Stretches Side Planks

    Side planks. — MCKIBILLO

    Injury: Lower-back strain

    While slipped disks and degenerative disease are sometimes to blame — and these require medical treatment — most lower-back pain can be prevented by strengthening the core muscles.

    Beat it with: Side planks

    Lie on one side, stacking your feet. Prop yourself on one arm, lifting your hip and keeping your back straight. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes on each side.

    Stay Fit Injury Free Stretches Lunges

    Lunges. — MCKIBILLO

    Injury: Knee strain

    The key to reducing knee pain is to strengthen the quadriceps — the big muscles that run down the fronts of the thighs.

    Beat it with: Lunges

    Keeping your upper body straight, step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Stand up. Do 10 forward lunges with each leg.

    Stay Fit Injury Free Stretches Monster Walk

    Monster walking. — MCKIBILLO

    Injury: IT band syndrome

    The iliotibial band — the long ligament connecting the pelvic bone to the tibia — often gets inflamed as you exercise. You'll feel pain in your knee, thigh or hip.

    Beat it with: Monster walking

    Tie a resistance band around your ankles. Bend your knees slightly, keeping your back straight. Walk sideways 20-30 steps. Then walk sideways in the other direction.

    Stay Fit Injury Free Stretches Shoulder Rotations

    Internal and external shoulder rotations. — MCKIBILLO

    Injury: Rotator cuff injury

    Almost a quarter of those over 50 have at least a minor tear in this shoulder muscle, even if they lack symptoms, one study finds.

    Beat it with: Internal and external shoulder rotations

    Tie one end of a resistance band to a door handle. With your elbow close to your side, pull the band across your body, rotating your forearm inward 20 times. Repeat with the other arm. Then rotate your forearm out, 20 reps with each arm.

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