As we get older, we may be absolutely determined to stay fit and healthy. In our forties, we may have made a pact with ourselves to never stop those fitness classes, or give up our gym membership. But as we approach our sixties and beyond, suddenly we are faced with far more barriers to exercising and fitness than we ever expected. We worked hard, and we were careful, and yet these problems still reared their ugly heads. Aging can be a constant battle, but thankfully, technologies are here to help.
In our fifties, we start to get the first tasters of what it is like to feel old. The body refuses to recover quickly from over exertion, and a weekend with the grandkids needs a week to get over! Most of us are wearing reading glasses, and a lot of us are concerned about cholesterol or high blood pressure. All of these things become barriers to us continuing our strict exercise regimes. We need a day off, which can easily become two, three or a week. This disruption then makes it incredibly hard to get back into at all!
If your sport is swimming, but your eyesight isn’t up to much without glasses, it can be quite frightening trying to use the pool with limited vision. However, there are swimming goggles out there that can closely match most prescription eyewear, making it much safer for you to navigate the pool. Prescription sports sunglasses are available too, so don’t be put off your sport if your eyesight isn’t what it used to be.
When we are exercising, most of us like to have our favorite pumping tunes to push us on. But when our hearing isn’t great, it can actually be quite unpleasant trying to listen to music. Fortunately, there are hearing aids like ReSound that allow us to use our iPods without disruption. We can enjoy ambient sounds without being overwhelmed, and we can follow instructions from teammates in group sports sessions. There are links to Alzheimer’s with hearing loss, so always get any concerns checked out.
Recovery times after activity do increase when we are older. You can overcome these things by adding time and stretches to your warm up and cool down sessions to match your age. If you had a two minute warm up ten years ago, try a five minute one now. The more you stretch and prepare, the less impactful the exercise. Take more sports massage sessions too. Remember some medications that we take at this time of life will also affect our bodies when we exercise. Read the labels carefully.
The types of activity that we do as we mature may need a little tweaking. Rugby may be too dangerous in a scrum if you suffer osteoarthritis, but a lot of the game can still be enjoyed in middle age. Use appropriate supports for parts of the body that are a little more worn than others, like knees and backs. Keep your weight in the mid range for your age, so you have enough fat on your body to protect the bones, but not so much you are adding undue pressure to the joints. Enjoy life to the max – in moderation!