Avoid “Boomeritis”

06/10/2010 at 5:42 PM Leave a comment

I noticed in one of my fitness trade journals that a new term has been coined by the Mayo Clinic, “Boomeritis“. Since they include my age bracket as being a boomer, I was a little curious about it.

Essentially it refers to injuries that people in their 50s and 60s get when they get over enthusiastic with a fitness program. They can be injuries such as tendinitis, bursitis, stress fractures and tendon tears.

One of the defining characteristics of the boomer population is that they (OK…we) have no intention of growing old gracefully. Getting “old” is just not acceptable. This is why they (we…sheesh!) are looking for every potion, pill, or program that can keep us younger, longer. Jumping into exercise to help sustain youth is no exception.

Here’s the problem… impatience. When the results are wanted yesterday and the program needs to be a gradual lifestyle change to be most effective, injuries will occur. We’re not old, but we are “older”. We’ve had time to accumulate injuries, health risks, and/or have had plenty of inactivity to decondition our bodies. Reconditioning them, working around injuries and issues, will take time.

Here are 6 recommendations to help avoid “boomeritis“:
1) Check with your doctor to see if there is any reason to not begin an exercise program.
2) Warm-up with 5-10 minutes of either light cardio or some dynamic active range of motion movements.
3) Start with a level that is not that challenging. Your job is to first find a “safe zone”, a level that you are not sore from the next day.
4) Use proper progression. Once you’ve found the “safe zone”, go up in resistance, reps, or time every session that you can, BUT… by the smallest amount possible. This will help pre-condition your body for more intense levels and will keep the likelihood of injuries down.
5) Be consistent. Plan to get your workouts in on a regular basis. Consistency promotes progress and inconsistency opens you up to possible injuries.
6) Enough recovery is also important. How much and how often really depends on your individual program, but you need to listen to your body.

Of course I believe the best way to begin an exercise program is to seek the guidance of a Personal Trainer. Let’s face it, that’s why we’re here.

Good luck getting started and avoid becoming a “Boomeritis” statistic.

Best wishes, Mark
Mark Nutting, CSCS*D, NSCACPT-AR*D
NSCA 2009 Personal Trainer of the Year
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