Saturday, December 15, 2012

Aging Gracefully Or Disgracefully

As one ages as an athlete, our physical, mental and psychological aspects of our being become suitably tested from sports as well as daily activities. Here are areas to be mindful of and, perhaps, be actively addressed both holistically and medically.
1) Our joints and muscles become more liable to inflammation. Swelling of tendons, ligaments, muscles and skin are common after racing or intense training. 
2) Thus, we need to consume proper nutrition to reduce this occurrence of inflammation. Use of ginger, antioxidants, good fats (including Medium-Chain Triglycerides, MCTs) and physiotherapy. Whey protein is the gold-label standard for tissue repair.
3) Some anaerobic activity benefits endurance athletes. It can be done, at intervals, throughout the day. It need not be a specific strength session.
4) Strength and weight-bearing activity is crucial to maintaining lean muscle, bone density, and a heightened metabolism.
5) We need to be be vigilant about excessive aerobic activity, as it invites the formation of free radicals (that scavenge our cells and its longevity/youthfulness). Use antioxidant-laden foods to reduce the build up of such destructive ions. These include asthaxantin, krill oil, phytophenols (rich, pigment-loaded fruits and vegetables), tart-cherry juice, pomegranate juice, and other nutrients.  
6) Performance = training + rest. Never cheat the rest/sleep portion. Sleep adequately, awake refreshed, and then train.
7) Never train on minimal sleep. Your training is already compromised. Plus, riding or running while sleep-deprived can be hazardous to your health and life.
8) Like it, or like it more, never train when you are injured. Yes, it is frustrating yet it saves you further damage when you rest. The weeks of recovery and recuperation will provide a healthier structure to rebuild your fitness.

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