We can’t avoid age. However, we can avoid some aging. Continue to do things. Be active. Life is fantastic in the way it adjusts to demands; if you use your muscles and mind, they stay there much longer.
Charles H. Townes
If we loose our sight our other senses develop further to help us cope.
If we injure our hip we change our gait to be able to keep moving.
If we lose running speed our brain adapts and uses our experience to improve our game sense so we are able to anticipate better and still compete
These amazing adaptations however can be a curse on the sports field.
As we age, we slow down and our body adapts to keep us competitive. This often causes us to accept the fact that we are slower. Rather we should ask 2 questions:
- Why am I slowing down?
- What can I do to prevent/decrease the decline?
COMMON CAUSES OF AGED RELATED SPEED DECLINE
- Our lifestyles become more sedentary- we sit more, we are less active more often
- We put on weight and in particular we put on fat
- Our muscles get smaller
- We produce less growth hormone which decreases our muscles ability to grown and strengthen
- We produce less Creatine Phosphate which decreases our ability to reduces our ability to work at high intensity
- We have less time to spend on recovery techniques especially sleep
- Our flexibility and mobility decrease
WHAT CAN I DO?
- Weight train… regularly. For team sport players 2-3 sessions per week will help increase muscle mass and strength
- Eat a well balanced diet, ensuring that you take into account your need for protein for muscle building and carbohydrates for energy
- Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night
- Train mobility daily to ensure range of motion is maintained and improved
- Train at high intensities for 2 sessions per week
- Design a training programme which allows full recovery
Our body is incredibly adaptive. It will adapt to our ageing but it will also adapt to the new demands we place on it if we create the right conditions.
For more information on how Strength and Conditioning programmes can help you improve your sporting performance go to www.damnfitsc.com.au/strength-and-conditioning