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Exercise as We Age
A definitive category of older athletes, both competitive and recreational, has been well established in this country and abroad. Specific to this group are a number of prevalent conditions with regard to training manipulation and injury prevention and treatment. A generally common course of events can be traced through the histories of many active adults. A sort of Archeology of the athlete/exercisers training, injuries and therapies on the road to recovery.
At some point in one’s life a critical decision needs to be made. Is the experienced fitness enthusiast going to continue to try and maintain a superior level of fitness and performance or is he/she going to slow down? If the determination is made to keep trying for the Gold, then the path should be chosen wisely, and some realistic exercise science needs be applied.
We humans are somewhat analogous to automobiles. When we get a new car, you can abuse that car, and it’s just tough to break. But, a year of no oil changes, low grade fuel usage – no lube and brake jobs and it starts to break down much sooner than a bit of routine maintenance care would have postponed. Our bodies are similar. When we are young, we have all new parts with very little wear and tear. We can run and play all day; no warm-ups, stretching, cool downs without any muscle pulls and strains. However, all of our activities have a cumulative effect on the condition of our muscles, tendons and joints. There is a kind of archaeology to our muscle stiffness and joint pain as we age. See, as we age the process of tissue regeneration begins to slow, and the accumulation of activities we partake in begins to show wear and tear that when we were younger had little to no consequence on how we felt daily. As we age, with even normal stress, the body is more apt to break down and requires special care and must be kept “in tune”. It should be emphasized that the human body requires some substantial exercise to sustain optimal functioning of its major physiological systems.