Once an athlete, always an athlete, regardless of age.
I have always been an athlete, regardless of whether I was playing lacrosse at Duke, or just meeting up with friends for some outdoor fitness. Athletes are drawn to the adrenaline of being active, the team-building of working with others, and the competitive nature of sports. These parts of our lives never go away, but there’s no denying that our bodies change as we get older, and we aren’t able to engage in the way we always were.
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Aging can be especially hard for athletes, because you not only lose the ability to be as agile as you once were, but also the independence of feeling invincible. So if you are the type of person that was always into athletics, but are finding it more difficult to keep the lifestyle going as you age, here are three things you should look into:
- See your doctor for an evaluation. Unfortunately, the changes that happen in our bodies as we age are unavoidable, and above everything it is important to know your limits. Seeing a doctor for an athletic evaluation, or going to a reputable trainer with a background in sports medicine will help you really understand what you can and can’t do. You may not be able to play your favorite sports anymore, but there are plenty of other ways to stay active and engaged at any age. An evaluation will help you decide how to approach this.
- Watch your recovery time. As you age, your ability to recover from exercise and fitness will diminish. The best way to combat this is by making sure you get adequate sleep, and eat a balanced diet, paired with cardiovascular or aerobic exercise. Even if you have to start off with a small amount, keeping all your systems clean and running through cardio will help your body recover after you attempt a more strenuous activity or sport.
- Don’t overdo it. Athletes are competitive by nature, so our goal is always to win, no matter how hard we have to push ourselves. As an aging athlete its very important to be mindful of how much exercise you are doing, how much energy you are outputting, and when its time to stop. Being wary of how much overall exercise you are exposing your body to will help you listen to your body, and ensure a speedier recovery time.
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