Active and fit in your 40's and 50's? ...Beware of Boomeritis
By Diane Fields, January 2002

Babyboomers, the legendary generation that challenged our view of youth in the 1960's are at it again. Born between 1946 and 1964 the oldest boomers are rapidly approaching the age of sixty. And it is clear they intend to pass this milestone on their own terms with regard to health and fitness. When it comes to sports, these boomers are pushing as hard as they did in their twenties. Unfortunately, as they try desperately to hold on to their youth, many are landing themselves in hospital emergency rooms with boomeritis.

Boomeritis, as defined by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, refers to sports related injuries suffered by babyboomers. These injuries include bursitis, tendinitis, arthritis, sprains, strains and stress fractures.

Every generation has it's share of sports related injuries, but the boomers are legendary in their unwillingness to accept injury related downtime. You know the mantra, no pain, no gain, right? As a result of this mentality, weak links such as old injuries, age related structural changes and genetic predisposition are exposed to overuse and can lead to chronic problems.

Even worse, mixed messages and conflicting information compound the problem. Exercise and weightlifting are viewed as keys to maintaining a youthful appearance. The Woodstock generation understands that weightlifting increases muscle size and view this as an important weapon in the battle against natural muscle loss due to aging. However, engaging in fitness activities actually brings on age related changes in joints and tendons.

Babyboomers need to keep these biological changes in mind when designing workout programs, understanding that with age comes a loss of flexibility and lengthened reaction and recovery times. Joints have less lubrication and the elasticity of muscles, tendons and ligaments diminishes with time and needs to be taken into account in the planning stages of nutritional, supplement, cardiovascular and training programs.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission stated that the number of trips to the emergency room for sports related injuries to boomers increased 33% between 1991 and 1998. With some modifications to their exercise programs babyboomers can avoid the downtime associated with overuse injuries and enjoy sports and fitness related activities for many years into future.

Diane Fields is an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, weight loss consultant, and member of Legendary Fitness, LLC, a health and fitness company geared towards the special exercise and nutritional needs of babyboomers. You may contact Ms. Fields via email at [email protected] Coming soon offering online cardiovascular, training, nutrition and supplementation programs, products and support.

"Active and fit in your 40's and 50's?....Beware of boomeritis," is the first in a series of articles dealing with babyboomers and sports related injuries. Copyright 2002. All rights reserved