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Old 10-25-2005, 09:18 AM   #1
Eugene R. Allen
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Rather than intelligently dealing with the ravages of father time though variety, intensity and functionality, it appears the more common view is to simply back off and do less work over a longer period of time and low intensity. Spreading the word of CrossFit when up against this kind of mindset will continue to be a challenge.

Sore story: Baby boomers wrestle with pains of aging

JOANN LOVIGLIO; The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA – For David Kozlow, turning 40 was a major pain in the neck. And in the ankles, back, groin, shoulder and hamstrings. A lifelong athlete who played high school lacrosse and college football, ran a 5:20 mile and bench-pressed 300 pounds, the attorney found himself approaching his 40th birthday with a laundry list of injuries.

One of those ailments, a herniated disk in his neck, took two years of acupuncture and heat therapy to alleviate the pain. “I still had the mind-set that I was in my 20s,” he said. “It took a few years for me to come to the conclusion that I couldn’t really do what I used to do, and I had to readjust my sights.”

Getting older hurts – and when it comes to exercise injuries, doctors say that’s more the case than ever. Many are seeing increasing numbers of baby boomers with blown knees, sore backs, stiff shoulders and other complaints. “The volume of people in their 40s, and even in their 30s, coming in with (knee) osteoarthritis is much higher than a decade ago,” said Dr. Jess Lonner, director of knee-replacement surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. “It’s a highly motivated generation that plays harder than a generation ago.”

‘No pain, no gain’ no more

Sports injuries among baby boomers increased by 33 percent from 1991 to 1998, according to figures cited in a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report. Baby boomers in 1998 suffered more that 1 million sports injuries, to the tune of nearly $19 billion in medical costs, said the report from 2000, the most recent data available.

The highest numbers of injuries came from bicycling, basketball, baseball and running, according to the consumer report. The most common injuries come from overuse and affect knees, ankles, lower back and shoulders.

Aging can’t be avoided, but injuries can be. And doctors say that doesn’t mean all avid joggers must hang up their running shoes, or lifelong basketball players must necessarily forgo the court – it’s all about exercising smarter.

“The old adage ‘no pain, no gain’ should be less relevant as we age than when we’re younger,” Lonner said. “It’s a matter of being educated in how to exercise appropriately and what signs to look out for when exercising, like muscle soreness and joint pain.”

For Kozlow, the solution was to switch from strenuous weight lifting to a workout that was gentler on muscles and joints. Now he does yoga and tai chi every day, strength training with light free weights and push-ups every other day, along with isometrics and elastic resistance bands. He also walks to and from work – about a 35-block round-trip.

“The goal was to be pain-free and to be fit without hurting myself,” said Kozlow, who didn’t rely on drugs or surgery to heal his injuries. “You have to readjust your mind-set and be more attuned to your body and its limitations, which can be hard to admit.”

Stay active, exercise caution

If the idea of exercise is to keep in top physical condition, hot-dogging it on mountain bike trails or trying to relive those varsity-letter glory days in “weekend warrior” style can be counterproductive, said Dr. Vonda Wright, an instructor in orthopedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

“Many of us may still feel like we’re 20, but we’re not 20,” she said. “Men come into my office with ruptured Achilles’ tendons or muscle tears because they insist on doing the same things they did when they were much younger.”

Doctors recommend a physical exam, including a cardiovascular work-up, for baby boomers looking to get active or stay fit. The results can be used to tailor an individual fitness program with the lowest injury risk.

“It all depends on the person. If you repeatedly get banged up by being on the basketball court, you should think about getting on a bike,” Wright said. “There’s a time to reconsider doing extreme sports, but there’s never a time to stop being active.”

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Old 10-25-2005, 03:11 PM   #2
Nick Cummings
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Thank goodness for experts like this! =(
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Old 10-25-2005, 03:40 PM   #3
Russ Greene
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My dad sent me that, so I sent him this:

His reply: "Your link beat the #$## out of my link."
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Old 10-25-2005, 06:02 PM   #4
Beth Moscov
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Okay. Lets all stop crossfit and do yoga and tai chi all the time. Clearly we are wrong.

(Russ - thanks for the counter link)

I wonder if all us older crossfitters could get an article in somewhere about how this is the fountain of youth? It has been for me.
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Old 10-25-2005, 07:55 PM   #5
Neal Thompson
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Awesome article!
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Old 10-25-2005, 10:36 PM   #6
Kalen Meine
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I saw that article and it ****ed me off too. On the same day I started my dad on CF. Nevermind being smart, or inventive, or trying something new, nope, you've just got to give up your basketball game for SPINNING? Cuz those two are the same amount of fun...
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Old 10-26-2005, 09:09 AM   #7
Matt Gagliardi
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Well, that article convinced me. I'm shelving CF and all of my other activities. No more 3-a-days. I'm going on a strict program of eating anything/everything in copious amounts, taking a short walk twice a week and meditating on Tuesday and Thrusday evenings. I think that should keep the healt/fitness bases covered, don't you?

On a serious note...about 6-8 weeks ago I ran across an article I meant to post here, detailing the rising popularity of elliptical machines for cardiovascular conditioning. The article specifically mentioned how easy they are.

I immediately began correlating the increasing popularity of ellipticals with the growing (no pun intended) problem of obesity in this country.

Because it's all about "easy". And the "easier" it gets...the fatter we get. The math seems pretty freakin' simple to me.
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Old 10-26-2005, 09:15 AM   #8
Neal Thompson
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Clarification, I meant the link Russ gave was awesome.
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:58 PM   #9
Rene Renteria
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I saw that article as well. “Many of us may still feel like we’re 20, but we’re not 20,” she said. “Men come into my office with ruptured Achilles’ tendons or muscle tears because they insist on doing the same things they did when they were much younger.”

This really bugged me, and coming from a doc, too. This stuff happens becuase they insist on doing the same things they did without doing any of the prep work to do it, which seems to become more important as we age. In the adult league sports that I see, so many people use the league games as their GPP that it's no wonder that people get hurt. Once you put in competition, it's hard to slow down even when your body says you should. Then POP!, there goes the hamstring (been there, done that). How many people use their weekend warrior sports and leagues as their main (or only) exercise?

I've found the best way to overcome a lack of skill in a sport in these rec leagues is to be fit. This lets you hustle the whole game and makes you seem twice as fast or skilled in the second half when so many others are tripping over their tongues hanging out of their mouths.

The games themselves are not the place to be hoping to get fit. My hamstrings agree with that.
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Old 10-26-2005, 04:34 PM   #10
Garry Berryhill
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And I thought Ancient Archie Moore put all that crap to rest in the 50's.

At the age of 42 (though some say he was older), he fought Marciano to the wire. When his cornermen wanted him to end the fight on his stool, Moore said "I am a champion, too. I will go down fighting."

It was really the swan song of his career, he was only in the game eight more years.
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