Is that news?
According to Dr. Jeffrey A. Ross, foot and ankle podiatrist from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, who spoke at the recent annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, an increasing number of baby boomers are suffering wear and tear injuries as a result of living active lifestyles. As the middle-aged generation continues to play hard and exercise balls to the wall, they are developing an inordinate amount of repetitive use injuries of the feet, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and elbows. These numbers seem alarming because this is the first generation to take a highly active lifestyle into older age. Despite these facts, I say bravo!
These types of headlines might make some people think that active lifestyles are hazardous to the health, but it’s important to put it all into perspective. Previous generations tended to decline in physical activity as a sort of “natural process”. During the 1st half of the 20th century, medical science even saw increased physical activity in the elderly as detrimental. Pshaw, I say. We know now that staying physically active is more than just good for you–it’s essential.
The problem happening with baby boomers is one of faulty form, poor biomechanics, and ignoring the need to establish parameters. Many baby boomers have jumped into physical fitness without taking the time to be properly trained, and the result is an increase in injuries. No problem. It’s never too late to learn to do it the right way.
Poor biomechanics can be a simple issue of poor form or it might be due to biomechanical dysfunction. Chronic subluxations, poor flexibility, and funky feet can all exacerbate the problem…and eventually lead to injury. Gotta get your stuff worked out. See a chiropractor. Take yoga classes. Get fit for orthotics. You can get back to normal functioning; I see it happen every day in my practice.
And establishing parameters just means always reevaluating your limits. You can do this by keeping records of your current physical abilities–how far you run, how quickly you lap Runyon Canyon, how much weight you push, and so forth. If you wake up one morning feeling beat to hell, take note: you might need to change that current parameter and work back up to where you were. Wisdom is listening to your body. You will slow down eventually, but that doesn’t mean you have to hang ’em up at fifty. Keep going, just listen to your body when it tells you to bring it down. That way, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of an active lifestyle for years to come.