The Aging Athlete

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Are you an Aging Athlete, aka Weekend Warrior? If you answer yes to two or more of these questions, this may be you!

  • Did you play sports in high school and/ or college?
  • Do you have a sedentary job/ lifestyle, but you exercise hard/ “play hard” when you can?
  • Do you feel like your mobility has decreased with age?
  • Do you feel like your strength has decreased with age?
  • Do you experience regular aches/ pains?
  • Do have an old injury that gets irritated regularly?

What is an aging athlete you ask? I define this as the person that enjoyed sports in their youth, is now 40+, has a mostly sedentary job during the week and gets most of their exercise playing their beloved sport on the weekends. The challenge is that the body is in a different place now and doesn’t move quite like it did when it was in its teens and early 20’s. The 40+ year old body tends to be a bit more stiff and slow to react; it may have experienced an injury or surgery since its youth that now effects proper function; it experiences aches and pains that seem to get worse with age and increased playtime; and it just doesn’t seem to recover as quickly as it used to. Although we know that the body is a bit different now, there is a tendency to approach exercise and sports like we did when we were young and nimble. As you can see, this presents a problem!

The challenge of exercising with the mind of a 20- year old while living in a 40+ year old body, is that this combo tends to set the stage for injury. The mind must learn to accept the present challenges in the body and be willing to work with them, because you can only get away with ignoring them for so long! The older body appreciates a bit more warm- up and cool- down time then it did when it was young. It also benefits from a consistent mobility and core strengthening program to counterbalance the 20+ years of wear and tear that its accumulated over the years. Additionally, a regular ELDOA program will keep the spine young and agile.

Lastly, the aging athlete will benefit from keeping the muscles and connective tissue (fascia, ligaments, tendons) hydrated by drinking a more water. When the tissues are properly hydrated, they are less prone to injury. A good goal is to drink ½ of your body-weight in ounces of water daily; drink more if you sweat a lot and/or live in a hot climate.)

The aging athlete can be a strong athlete who plays hard and avoids injury, but they must recognize that the body needs to be treated a bit differently than when it was younger!

Interested in learning about how you can balance the effects aging athlete? Contact me today to set up a complimentary consultation!