Athletics as you Age
Written by: Michael Sabatino, DPT
You’re not 20 anymore, or 30 for that matter…
Working out and staying limber gets tough as we age. Once our bodies hit 35, science has shown that the good hormones necessary for working out and recovery take a serious nose dive. Moreover, we fail to appropriately adapt our lifestyles and training regimens as we get older. When we are younger, we can afford to make more mistakes in lifestyle and training without significant consequences on performance. As our bodies age, there is far less margin for error. Staying lean and building muscle, while not impossible, becomes much more challenging to achieve. Life happens; kids, work related stress and adult responsibilities take a toll on our bodies and serve as serious roadblocks to maintaining optimal health.
Let’s address a few notable areas to help improve general health and well-being.
Greater focus needs to be placed on consistency of exercise and recovery from your workouts.
One simple item is going to bed early enough for your body to recover. Getting adequate amounts of regular sleep allows your body to cope with accumulating physical stresses. Another important factor is varying the intensity and volume of workouts. I tell patients all the time that frequency, duration and intensity are the three key elements we look to change during the rehabilitation process. During training, these three elements are also the only ones that can be manipulated. As we age, intensity needs to increase while duration needs to be conversely less. This change typically results in shorter sessions with higher intensity. This stimulates muscle growth while shortening your recovery time; allowing you to receive the maximum benefit from your workout.
Track what you eat – modifications to your diet are critical.
Proper nutrition is a close second in effective recovery techniques. During the recovery period, getting adequate amounts of protein and carbohydrates is essential for optimal recuperation immediately following a high stress workout. Meals should be based on wholesome carbohydrates, protein rich foods and healthful fats such as fish oils. The bottom line is eat clean, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. Our needs don’t change all that much from when we are younger, we are just able to overcome the shortcomings much easier at a younger age.
It may appear that you are fighting an uphill battle; however, as you age making key modifications will help you to continue an active lifestyle. Failing to accept the aging process will only result in abuse to your body and joints; resulting in time away from activities you enjoy. I’ll leave you with a famous quote from Mickey Mantle, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself…”
Michael Sabatino, DPT is the Director of Physical Therapy at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation. Monmouth Pain is a group of Physicians, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, and Acupuncturists working together to offer patients the most comprehensive, well-rounded, and successful plans of pain management imaginable. Call 732-345-1377 or fill out the form on this page to request a consultation at the Shrewsbury or Wall Township location.