Advice for Aging Athletes

Is running your passion?  Or tennis or weekend pick-up games on the basketball court?  Whether you've been active since youth, have recently returned to sports or are just trying to get fit in mid-life, you may not be as fast, loose or, well, energetic as you’d prefer.

As the years pass, our bodies lose lung capacity, lean body mass and flexibility, says Matthew T. DesJardins, M.D.  Our peak heart rate goes down, as does the body’s ability to recover and repair. Thus, “we don’t go as fast as we used to,” Dr. DesJardins says. We don’t lift as much, and we don’t recover as well. And we get hurt more.” This shouldn’t stop you from exercising or even competing, however. “The training just has to be smarter,” he advises.