Fitness for the Aging Athlete

As a retired competitive athlete, there comes a time in all of our lives when we realize that we have an ache or pain that didn’t used to be there. That is the nature of being a “high mileage” creature. Most of us wouldn’t trade our athletic careers for anything, but now that we are starting to feel all of the years of sports in our joints, we need to start “spending our nickels wisely” and making good choices when it comes to our fitness and exercise routines.

Starting at your feet

The knee is one of the most common spots for there to be a “worn out part”. After years of participating in a jumping sport or a sport that requires a lot of squatting, your knees can start to show some wear and tear. The first step in eliminating and decreasing knee pain is starting from the bottom up and making sure your feet are supported. Wearing a high quality and supportive shoe is the first step. In addition, many people benefit from a basic over the counter orthotic.

Low impact exercises

When managing knee, hip or ankle pain, it is best to try and limit impact, such as running on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete. If you are at the point that giving up running is not something you are willing to do it, it might be wise to run on dirt roads or even take to running in the deep end of the swimming pool in an aqua jogger. At Momentum, we also have a new state of the art piece of gym equipment that can mimic running and is ideal for getting a great, no impact, lower body work out done in as little as 15 minutes.

Choosing appropriate exercises

It is important to consider that exercises that you did when you were 20 years old maybe aren’t the most appropriate now. We need to keep in mind that as we age it is important to focus on certain areas to prevent injury. Core strength is important to athletes of any age but it is especially important to keeping back pain away. Making good decisions when it comes to your core exercise program is critical to your overall fitness routine. Usually the safest bet when it comes to core is to work around a plank-based program.

If golf is your sport, it is probably the most appropriate to work with lighter weights and resistance band type exercises with higher repetitions, rather than heavy lifting with lower repetitions. If you can replicate a portion of the activity you are working on in the gym and add resistance, you will see an improvement in your game.

Overuse injuries

It isn’t possible to prevent all types of injuries, like sliding into second base and rolling an ankle, but there are exercises that can be done to prevent some overuse-type injuries. Having a basic shoulder stability program in place can help prevent shoulder injuries and improve posture which can also be noticeable in daily activities. A shoulder stability program could benefit more than just throwers. If volleyball is your sport, a shoulder program could be very beneficial. Those participating in any type of racquet sport could also see a decrease in shoulder overuse injuries.

A program for you

Whether you have a foot, shoulder, or knee injury or are just looking to get in shape, the staff at Momentum invites you to come tour our facility and let our staff design a program that best fits your orthopedic status and fitness goals. Joining the “club” gets you access to our gym, discounted rates on physical therapy visits and screenings (in the event of an injury), and discounted braces, supports and Brooks running and walking shoes. As always, call us at 970-522-1969 with any questions you may have about what types of exercises are right for you!

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