The Baby Boomer Athlete
Are you a Baby Boomer? If you were born between the years of 1946 to 1964, you are part of the 79.1 million Boomers, comprising 29 percent of the total US population. According to the AARP, every seven seconds a Baby Boomer turns 50! And, about one-third of Americans who take part in sports activities are Boomers.
As this generation grows older, they are working harder to keep their youth and vitality, are staying active with physical activity, and unfortunately are experiencing more injuries than the generation before them.
A US Consumer Product Safety Commission report states there were 1 million sports injuries to persons between the ages of 35 and 54 in 1998. This is a 33% increase over the same statistics of 1991. While this sounds like distressing news for aging bodies, many sports-related injuries are minor aches, sprains and strains that can be treated or even prevented using self-treatment techniques. Whether you are a weekend warrior or a lifelong athlete, the following suggestions may help you stay limber and relatively pain-free.
Warm-up before stretching or an activity. Muscles that are warm through slow-paced pre-exercise such as jogging or walking, will be less likely to tear.
Stretching before and after exercise. Stay limber and flexible. Stretching is one of the best preventive measures against injury.
Get fitted with the proper shoe. This is a top priority especially for running, hiking, and cross training. Go to a running store with someone on staff who will analyze your walk, arch, and how your foot turns in or out during activity. They will then fit you with a shoe having the right amount of support or cushioning for your particular body type. This alone can substantially reduce the incidence of injury.
Start daily conditioning. Do some type of activity every day to help condition your body for more strenuous weekend exercise.
Try adding low-impact activities to the mix. Such as: Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi, Elliptical Trainer, Recumbent Cycling, Spinning.
Add strength training to your weekly routine. Stronger muscles mean better joints and a more energized body.
Create a workout program with balance. Combine stretching, strength training and cardiovascular exercises to keep your body in balance.
Use R.I.C.E. If pain does creep into your body after an activity, use the technique of R.I.C.E. immediately to reduce inflammation. Never use heat in the first 48 to 72 hours after an injury occurs, as this will increase swelling and bruising. Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation can make the difference in a fast, effective recovery from a sprain or strain.
Try massage. For tight, stressed muscles, massage therapy can be a relaxing and helpful treatment for minor pain. Self-message is easy to do on legs, ankles and feet.
Give cognitive behavior therapy a go. This therapy works on the concept that you can reprogram your mind to increase performance or decrease pain triggers, incorporating relaxation and other visualization techniques. Professional athletes have been using it for some time to rehearse a perfect performance in their mind before an event.
Physical activity may produce its own set of challenges for Baby Boomers. But inactivity itself is a threat to health. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke and some cancers. Regular physical exercise helps Boomers strengthen muscles, which in turn stabilizes joints, increases flexibility and keeps age-related diseases at bay. Better to be a buff Baby Boomer than a middle-age couch potato!
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical treatment or consultation. Always consult with your physician in the event of a serious injury.
About The Author
Louise Roach is the editor of an on-line health and fitness newsletter. She has been instrumental in the research, testing and development of SnowPack, a patented cold therapy that exhibits the same qualities as ice. Her injury prevention and treatment articles have been published on running, walking and fitness websites. For more information visit: http://www.snowpackusa.com or NewsFlash*SnowPack at: http://home.netcom.com/~newsflash. Louise Roach can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Water Makes Muscles More Elastic?!
Before you say, "yeah, yeah, yeah I know to drink 8 cups a day and live until a hundred. Boring, heard it all before" and close the page? your best bet would be to read on, for what you are about to learn may indeed not only broaden your circle of knowledge, but save your life.
Train for the Look You Want
So the Olympics are almost upon us. While you have the chance, compare the differences between a marathon (long distance) runner's body and a sprinter's body.
Muscle Building Training Tips For Beginners
(*) Proper bodybuilding exercises technique.First steps in muscle building training are easy.
Four Powerful Tricks for Successful Lucid Dreaming
By definition, Lucid Dreaming means "conscious awareness during the dream state." But how can this be? Every book I've ever read on dreaming has described the dream state as being an entry into the unconscious, so how can you possibly be conscious during dreaming, and be able to enter your dreams.
The Role Of Repetitions In Your Muscle Building Program
Repetitions are the basic building blocks of any strength or muscle building program but it is something that many lifters take for granted. How often do you see people at the gym speed through their reps, breathe haphazardly or fail to complete each rep correctly from a technical perspective? There is much more to the simple rep than meets the eye.
Ace Abs Without Crunches, Cradles, Or Sit-ups!
I know what many of you are thinking reading the title of this article. I also thought the same once.
Exercise The Right Way - The Hammer Curl
Other articles in this series looked at a number of exercises, mainly from the perspective of developing a comprehensive muscle building program. Sometimes we take things for granted, especially when it comes to performing the basic exercises that constitute the core of most bodybuiders' training regimes.
The Basics Of Dumbells And Dumbbell Workouts
Dumbbells are integral to a long term fitness and personalstrengthening plan. Dumbbells are individual weights thatare best used as part of your overall fitness workout eachday.
Tendonitis and the Effects on Your Routine
What turns out to be a small, yet annoying pain in your joint, can quickly turn into something much more debilitating. At first, you just think it might be a pulled muscle.
Personal Trainers with Real People, Real Situations
TO DO OR NOT TO DO? ? ABSTWO WEEKS PRIOR TO WRITING ARTICLE:Jeanne is a client I have worked with for a number of years, and through a couple of births with very quick recoveries. She is naturally tall and thin with wide hips and very flat abs.
Most Amazing (and Ridiculously Simple) Trick For Stiff-Legged Deadlifts You Will Ever Read In Your L
The stiff-legged deadlift is one of the best exercises you can do for your hamstrings. The only problem is, it can also be one the hardest exercises to perform properly.
Hair Removal Tips For Bodybuilders
One of the most time consuming and frustrating parts ofbodybuilding is not building muscles, it's removing unwantedhair.For any competing bodybuilder, hair removal is a must butit's also growing in popularity among casual bodybuilders.
The Anabolic Evolution of Modern Bodybuilding
Since the early days of physical culture, modern man has been searching for the elusive ''Fountain of Youth''. The promise of radiant health, enduring strength and a Herculean physique has drawn millions on this quest for physical perfection.
Exercise The Right Way - One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
Other articles in this series looked at a number of exercises, mainly from the perspective of developing a comprehensive muscle building program. Sometimes we take things for granted, especially when it comes to performing the basic exercises that constitute the core of most bodybuilders' training regimes.