Friday, May 30, 2008

Reversing A Decline In Physical Fitness

Since retiring in my forties in 2007, I've been expecting to to do more sports and yard work. However, I have learned quickly that my strength and stamina is not what it used to be :-) While I haven't really noticed, my physical fitness has been steadily declining since graduating from college, where I played football and rugby.

In my early twenties, I was proud of the fact that I could play two games of rugby on Saturday, and feel pretty good by Sunday. By my early thirties, I was playing one game on Saturday. It was taking me until Tuesday to recover and I knew it was time to retire. However, I still was in good enough shape to run a marathon for the first time and play touch football competitively with high school athletes. However, by my late thirties, I had retired to recreational volleyball and softball and by my mid forties, I was only playing tennis occasionally.

This natural decline is strenuous physical activity has had its effects. Recently, a few activities demonstrated my decline in fitness. A few weeks ago I played a round of golf (walking) and then played tennis that evening. Although I made it through both activities, I was very tired by the end of the day. Then yesterday, we spent the day pruning bushes, and trimming trees. By end of day, my joints were sore, and I didn't have the strength to use the trimmer for the thicker branches.

I have avoided weight training most of my life, even when I played football. However, I expect I will need to make weight training part of my regular routine as I get older. The other addition is likely going to be flexibility training. By doing both, I expect to improve strength and reduce injuries, which now seem to take longer for recovery. My main challenge will be to make weight and flexibility exercising enjoyable enough to do it regularly :-)

For more on Reaping the Rewards , check back every Friday for a new segment.

This is not financial or exercise advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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