You’re Not 20 Anymore: 2 Tips for Older Athletes

You’re not 20 anymore!

How do you keep your strength up? What are some tips for older athletes?

The first thing I would say is don’t give up. Don’t let yourself become discouraged or down about it. There’s always something you can do to improve your performance and still have fun doing it.

Second, read books on exercise physiology and nutrition. Read everything there is to learn about these subjects. If you want to lose weight, then you need to understand what causes weight loss and why it happens. You’ll probably gain muscle mass too so reading up on this will help with both goals.

Third, if you’ve been exercising regularly for years without any problems, then maybe your body isn’t ready for a major change yet. Maybe you just haven’t reached your peak yet. You might want to take things slow and see if you can maintain your current level of fitness for another few years before making changes.

Fourth, if all else fails, then start working out at home with a friend or two. Just make sure they aren’t going to judge you because everyone does it differently and everyone has their own way of doing things.

What are some of the dangers of overtraining?

If you train too hard or for too long, then your body is going to get injured. It’s inevitable. If you ignore the early warning signs of injury and keep training through the pain, then you’re going to suffer a complete breakdown. So listen to your body because it won’t lie to you no matter how hard you push it. The first sign that something is wrong is going to be pain somewhere in your body. The pain might be minor or it might be major but it’s always going to be there. You need to learn how your body reacts to exercise and train accordingly.

At what point does a rigorous exercise become overtraining?

There is no set in stone way of knowing when you’re overtraining. Most people can generally tell when they’re overdoing it and need to take a break from working out. It’s usually a combination of physical and mental factors. If you find yourself struggling to get through your workouts, then maybe it’s time to take a break. Listen to your body because if something is wrong and you push through the pain, then it will only get worse.

The body is a complex machine and all parts need to be in perfect working order. If one part is broken then the whole machine suffers for it. So if you’re in pain during or after a workout, then take a day or two off and let your body heal itself. Working out when you’re sick or injured is just asking for more trouble because your immune system will be too weak to fight off other foreign invaders. So if you have the common cold, then take a break from exercising until you’re feeling better.

Why is the importance of a good nights sleep?

One of the most important things you can do for your body is getting enough sleep every night. When you’re asleep, your body is repairing damaged muscle tissue, building new and stronger muscles, and it’s also heightening your immune system. Without enough sleep, your body can’t fight off foreign invaders which leaves you susceptible to getting sick. If you’re sick and you need to exercise, then your performance and your results will most likely suffer for it. So if you can’t sleep, then don’t try to make yourself because you’ll only be hurting yourself in the long run. I know that sleep is something that a lot of people have problems with but there are ways to deal with it which I’ll talk about later.

What are the benefits of stretching? Why is it important to do before working out?

Stretching is important to do for a couple of reasons. The first being that it prevents injury. If you’re not properly warmed up before you start throwing weights around, then you’re more likely to pull a muscle which will not only put you out of commission for a few days, it’s also extremely painful. The second reason is that stretching elongates your muscles which helps you achieve a better physique. A lot of people think that you should stretch before and after your workouts but the truth is, you only really need to stretch before your workout because after you’re done, your muscles become relaxed.

What you do want to do though is hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds if not a full minute. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen people in the gym bouncing around like a rabbit on speed and they wonder why their muscles aren’t growing.

What is the importance of cardio? Why is it important to do regularly?

Cardio has become one of the most debated topics over the past few years. A lot of people have written articles about how cardio will literally shave years off your life and that weight training is much better for you overall. Those people are full of crap.

Do you run marathons? No? Then why would you worry about cardiovascular issues at this point in time?

The people who push this argument are usually the same ones who pedal away on a stationary bike at the gym for an hour and then wonder why they aren’t losing any weight. Cardio is great for many reasons especially if your main goal is to lose weight. It can also help improve your overall stamina which will make your workouts easier since you won’t be nearly as winded when you’re done.

Whether you run, jump rope, use a treadmill, bike, ski, etc… Any type of cardio which gets your heart rate up will be beneficial to you. It doesn’t have to be all that often either. Even if you only do a half hour three times a week, that’s going to have a great effect on you.

Sources & references used in this article:

Body talk: Male athletes reflect on sport, injury, and pain by K Young, P White, W McTeer – Sociology of sport …, 1994 – journals.humankinetics.com

A qualitative study of the consequences of knee symptoms:’It’s like you’re an athlete and you go to a couch potato’ by C MacKay, SB Jaglal, J Sale, EM Badley, AM Davis – BMJ open, 2014 – bmjopen.bmj.com

When you’re not the Brady Bunch: Identifying perceived conflicts and resolution strategies in stepfamilies by M Coleman, MA Fine, LH Ganong… – Personal …, 2001 – Wiley Online Library

Understanding athlete burnout: coach perspectives. by TD Raedeke, K Lunney… – Journal of Sport …, 2002 – search.ebscohost.com

Sporting bodies, ageing, narrative mapping and young team athletes: An analysis of possible selves by C Phoenix, AC Sparkes – Sport, Education and Society, 2007 – Taylor & Francis