AGING FOR SPORTS PERSONS
Those of us who have enjoyed many years of vigorous
sporting activity do tend to have a longer list of exercise-related
injuries than our less active friends.
The baby boom generation currently reaching middle
like are a highly motivated generation and tended to
play sports more vigorously than the previous generation.
These injuries, unfortunately impact the rate of deterioration
of the bodies skeletal and muscular systems.
Common ailments include:
- Herniated disks
- Blown knees
- Sore backs
- Stiff shoulders
- Knee osteoarthritis
Many of these symptoms are showing up in the 30’s
and 40’s, well before one would expect in the
normal aging process. This corresponds largely to the
nineties. During this decade, sports injuries among
baby boomers increased by 33 percent from 1991 to 1998,
to over 1 million injuries, according to figures cited
in a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report.
The highest numbers of sports-related injuries came
from bicycling, basketball, baseball and running, according
to the consumer report. The most common injuries come
from overuse and affect knees, ankles, lower back and
Adopting a Sensible Approach
As we reach our 50’s, its a matter of being more
educated in how to exercise appropriately and what signs
to look out. Being gentler on muscles and joints does
not mean less activity. It may mean that we supplement
more active sports with gentler ones such as yoga, pilates
and tai chi. Other excellent exercises include: strength
training with light free weights, isometrics and using
elastic resistance bands. Exchanging running for vigorous
walking is a better option on hips, knees and ankles.
We must accept that we are no longer 20 and adjust
our activities to our age. The goal is the be fit AND
pain free, without relying on drugs and surgery to heal
injuries. This change in attitude is not always easy,
especially for competitive men, but will pay dividends
in later years.
Having a tailored low injury fitness
program together with annual cardiovascular work-ups
is highly recommended for active aging.