Fitness for Fifty and Better

I find it very interesting to witness the athletes surrounding me who have physically changed over the last ten/fifteen years. Some more than others of course.

Let’s say they were well into their 40’s when they began triathlon careers which is not unusual and would now be approaching their 60s. A time when retirement is more on the tongue than ever before, a time when training plans, training frequency, and even races chosen, need to be selected with more care.

Why?

Arthritis. Two common types, Rheumatoid-Osteoarthritis, more than 290 joints in the body which are susceptible to arthritis can impact the body in many ways and to various degrees.

Lots of athletes in this age bracket continue to be active and live very good lives with this disease but once it gets root there is no cure for arthritis and it is progressive.

Rheumatoid can twist and shorten tendons making fingers point in new directions. It can tackle your auto-immune system and in extreme cases allow your body to dissolve itself one tendon at a time.

Everyone knows someone who has arthritis and most often we have it ourselves so it’s more common than pockets on pants but when it starts to run your life that’s when the shine comes off it.

Osteoarthritis is very common and usually affects the larger joints, hip, knees, spine, ankles, hands and is the deterioration of the joint allowing the protective cartilage to be worn off. Bones can become brittle and growths caused by inflammation show bone deformities.

The symptoms of these two forms of arthritis are numerous and there are treatments, drugs, etc. that can help in comforting the patient but as time moves on they will have to be adjusted.

By no means is arthritis the end of the world to the vast majority who suffer with it but early managing, becoming knowledgeable of the do’s and don’ts in athletics can make the difference of a long and happy aging process and a long struggle.

Would you workout with rheumatoid if the joint was hot? Nope! Would you keep your weight down with osteoarthritis? Yes!

Aging is a process that will impact everyone who lives long enough to experience it. We cannot stop it in it tracks but with good common-sense practises we can certainly delay the “Aging Train” coming down the track!

Cheers, Paul

 

Fitness for Fifty and Better

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