Performance Enhancing Tips for Older Athletes
It is natural to want to stay in good condition as we age, for health and cosmetic reasons. However, as we all know, the aging process also brings a decline in many of the things that keep up strong and looking youthful, while at the same time increasing those things that used to be considered part of the “natural aging process,” such as weight gain, disease and cosmetic changes. There is hope for us as we get older and still want to look and feel our best. Exercising is one of the best ways to reduce weight gain, increase bone and muscle strength, improve our mental outlook, and look younger and more fit. Here are some performance enhancing tips that will help you stay fit enough to compete with even younger athletes!
It’s important to know how beneficial exercise is to your overall health as you age, especially since physical abilities and performance can decline and negatively affect your performance. With age comes cardiovascular, respiratory, muscle and bone health issues that may seem to be deterrents against becoming more physically active, but truthfully just the opposite is true. Exercise can actually help you overcome some of the negative effects of aging, and can also improve your sense of well being, lower your risk of disease and help prevent age-related death. In fact, if you are more active as you age, you may be better off than people who are much younger than you who don’t exercise!
You don’t have to run marathons to be a fit older athlete, unless you want to, of course. In fact, many of your favorite leisure activities can actually be considered exercise, from bowling to golfing to swimming to gardening. Exercise with a mental component, such as yoga, is also highly beneficial because yoga allows you to feel calm and centered while also helping with stretching, breathing, and strength. Strength training becomes even more important as you age, because you strengthen your muscles and your bones, warding off concerns such as osteoporosis or fractures.
Fitness goes hand in hand with nutrition, and this is especially true if you are an older athlete. It is important to fuel your body with healthy food so you have the energy to work out, plus attend to daily tasks. If you haven’t already begun to take nutritional supplements, now would be a great time to start to ensure your body is getting enough of the daily nutrients it needs in order to function at an optimal level.
It may seem like your “golden years” are far in the future, but there are multiple benefits to establishing consistent healthy habits now so they will be easy to maintain as you age. Enhancing your performance for the future will help you age fitter, stronger and more youthful.