They say 50 is the new 30 and I agree.
I’m in as good (if not better shape). I’m both stronger and faster than I was 25 years ago. I’m not alone. The fifty-plus crowd that I’m part of regularly participates in activities on the basketball courts, softball fields, hiking trails, mountain paths, tennis courts, and in running races both short and long distances. We also go to the gyms regularly using using treadmills, ellipticals, and free weights. Another interesting factoid is that the 50+ group is the fastest growing segment of the population. The bright spot is that many competitions of all types have “masters’ ” categories. The not so bright spot is the injuries (and the extended amount of time it takes to recover compared to 25 years ago).”
Ignorance is as Ignorance Does
We either forgot or never learned the importance of form and technique for fitness activities. We probably don’t warm up properly, stretch, or perform any other type of essential activity that probably would reduce or prevent the injuries. Activities we’ve done our whole lives now have the irritating consequence of causing aches and pains in places we didn’t know existed and for extended periods of time we are not accustomed to. We could lay off our fitness routines for a few days or more and pick right back up. But lay off the workout for a few days and you’re back at ground zero. One wrong move or loss of concentration and potentially “there goes the back”. As Lucy would say in the 70′s Charlie Brown comic strip (a baby boomer favorite), “Aaargh!”.
How do we keep up the sporting and fitness activities we have always liked to do and prevent the injuries? How do we try out a new fitness activity and not get hurt? What are the right preventive measures to take? How much is too much and how fast is “too fast”. For many of us guys, the competitive side of our brains hasn’t dissipated with age but our bodies have a different idea. In our minds we can still do as much as we ever did: play hard, run fast, and lift as much as ever. How do we best prepare ourselves? Our wives’ suggestion to “just slow down”, or “just do less” doesn’t resonate. Does it?
Interesting Facts About Masters Athletes
Fun facts about 40+ phenoms: Dara Torres won a gold medal at 41 years old and is a mother of two. Betty White is still going strong at 92. Janet Evans, 4-time Olympic gold medalist, almost made the 2012 Olympics barely barely falling short of the cutoffs in the time trials. Jack LaLanne was going strong up until his death at age 96. At age 41 LaLanne swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman’s Wharf and at age 70, handcuffed, shackled, he towed 70 rowboats from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary. This 40+ phenom list goes on.
No Easy Answer
Not sure what the answer is. It’s not an easy answer to slack off although that solution honestly gets easier with each new ache or pain; or worse yet, injury. Would love to hear thoughts on how others balance the fitness challenge against bodies that sometimes just don’t want to cooperate.