Moderate Exercise is the Key to Long Term Fitness

Athletes train hard to win. Training for a lifetime of fitness requires a slightly different approach.

We admire the physical prowess of our sports stars. From Herb Brooks’ legendary U.S. Olympic hockey dream team to the annual thrill of Vikings football, there’s something thrilling about the clash of athletes in competitive sports. According to the American Fitness Index, Saint Paul and Minneapolis lead the country in health and fitness, so it makes sense that we would applaud the athletes who reach the zenith of their abilities. 

Over time, however, we’ve seen that the physical intensity of sports performance takes a toll on the human body. Emerging data indicate the risk of long-term concussive damage resulting from football and soccer injuries. Runners hit the ground with two to three times their body weight; over time, the repetitive pounding can take a toll on bones and joints. In short, the intensive training necessary for sports performance doesn’t necessarily serve our wellbeing and fitness over time.

As high school and college athletes transition into professional careers, there are some steps they can take to maintain fitness without risking orthopedic problems or other injuries down the road.

Redefine motivation

Professional sports is focused on improving competitive performance; lifetime fitness is focused on establishing a healthy routine. Winning is no longer our motivation; instead, we may want to maintain a healthy weight, prevent a chronic illness like heart disease, manage stress, or maintain our energy level.

Create a new workout

Professional athletes can train for hours every day. A fitness regime, on the other hand, takes just one hour, three to five times a week.

Mix it up to maintain overall fitness

A healthy workout plan incorporates at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise like walking or biking per exercise session. Include resistance and strength training like free weights, bands, or push-ups twice a week to exercise all major muscle groups. Work in some time for balance and flexibility; yoga or stretches are good options.

Enjoying an active lifestyle is something to be celebrated. These transitional guidelines can help to keep you safely active and healthy for a lifetime.

 

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