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Sports Medicine For the Aging Athlete (and the Older Exerciser)

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Sports Medicine for the Aging Athlete (and the Older Exerciser)

 

It is never too late to exercise and you are never too old to begin a sports medicine exercise program. Exercise is the key to avoiding many of the problems associated with aging—poor circulation, loss of muscle strength, weak bones, weight gain, loss of flexibility and poor balance. Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, controls diabetes and is an antidote to depression.

 

Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle seen by sports medicine specialists. It is estimated that an individual loses five to seven pounds of lean muscle every decade. Such lean muscle loss makes every daily activity harder, including the ability to walk, sit and stand, climb stairs, drive, get dressed and shop. Increased muscle strength may also reduce the incidence of hip fractures.


*Be sure to discuss sports medicine exercise programs with your doctor before beginning.

 

Sports Medicine Safety Tips for Seniors

 

  • Wear sturdy, non-slip athletic shoes with proper sports medicine support for feet, and closed toe box—no scuffs, sandals or rubber thong shoes.
  • Use a sports medicine balance support product, such as a cane, if there is a history of dizziness or falls.
  • Wear eyeglasses to avoid falls.
  • Follow sports medicine directions closely when using weight machines; wear reading glasses.
  • Always ask for help from a health club staff member.
  • Exercise with a buddy.
  • Discuss the sports medicine exercise program with your doctor before you begin.
  • Have a complete sports medicine first aid kit available at all organized and impromptu sports events.

 

Sports Medicine Safety Equipment Recommendations

 

  • Sturdy athletic shoes, appropriate for the exercise or sport;
  • Protective sports medicine eyewear such as safety glasses or goggles;
  • Sports medicine mouth guards-- especially important for those with bridgework or other
  • orthodontic appliances;
  • Sports medicine helmets;
  • Sports medicine knee and elbow guards;
  • Sports medicine face guards for sports such as football, hockey, martial arts and handball.

 

Sports Medicine Injury Prevention Recommendations

 

  • Warm up slowly prior to any sports activity.
  • Stretch the muscles before and after exercise, using proper form and never bounce. (Bouncing causes tiny tears in muscle fibers.)
  • Wear appropriate sports medicine safety equipment for the sport, making certain equipment fits properly and snugly.
  • Wear sports medicine support products, such as neoprene compression sleeves, on joints prone to injury.
  • Weight loss, diet plans and programs for seniors.