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senior life | FITNESS


As we age, it is very important that we continue to exercise. For most of us, the benefits of remaining physically active far outweigh the minor inconvenience of fitting a little exercise into our daily routine. But remember, it’s important to be careful and sensible and to always consult your physician before embarking on a new workout regimen.


Let’s start with some interesting notes about the Baby Boomer generation:


The oldest of us will be 67 this year.


The average age of today’s grandparent is 54.


We are the first generation that expects to be grandparents for 40 years or more. This statistic should create the largest- ever generation of great-grandparents.


There are more boomers than ever before participating in all kinds of recreational and organized team sports. The numbers are so high that they stun statisticians.


Baby boomer sports injuries jumped 33 percent during the 1990s. The largest increase in injuries is among boomers doing general exercise and running.


One of the things we should be getting from these statistics is the fact that we need to be more careful and calculated in our approach to exercise so that we can live our expected, extended lives with better quality of life. As they say, “We ain’t as young as we use to be.” Unfortunately, there is a disconnect between our brains and our bodies, which often leads to injuries. In our minds, we are still young, and we think we can still run and jump just like we did in our youth.


The truth is, as we age, both our bones and soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) lose their strength and become less elastic. This makes us more vulnerable to a variety of injuries. When we do get injured, it takes us longer to get back to where we were. Additionally, our hearts becomes less efficient, and our bodies’ metabolism slows.


Does this mean that we shouldn’t exercise and participate in sports as we get older? On the contrary. Physical exercise is a necessity to help us keep our bodies as healthy as possible and give us a better quality of life.


Being fit and conditioned plays a big role in minimizing our risk of injury. What we need to remember is that we have to train and condition ourselves at an appropriate level. Keep in mind that realizing your tennis league starts next week, jumping into a quick conditioning program is going to almost guarantee you some early injuries and problems. You need at least two to three months of training and conditioning to get ready for most sports activities. If you’re starting a new fitness program, you need to work your way into it slowly.


midwest health+wellness issue 1, 2014 35


are an important part of any activity


remember Warm-ups


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