Only you can prevent boomeritis?

Marilynn Preston

Boomeritis that would be an inflammation of your boomer, right?

Actually, it’s a term coined by Nicholas DiNubile, a sports-medicine doctor, to account for the huge number of sports-related injuries sprains, strains and fractures happening to people age 35 to 54. Record numbers of them are visiting emergency rooms for sports injuries. The reason? Never before, says Dr. DiNubile, have people so old tried to stay so young by being active and doing sports.

They’re all overuse injuries, which means the strains and sprains happen because people are trying to do too much, too soon, to bodies that just aren’t strong or flexible enough to take the stress.

What to do? Don’t stop being active. But do play it smart. Here are some of his suggestions, based on advice given in the AARP magazine, My Generation:

n Condition year-round, working on strength and flexibility several times a week. Don’t just laze around all week and then run out and do a lot of active stuff on the weekend. That’s an accident waiting to happen.

n Cross train. Don’t just do the same workout day after day. Mix it up. Alternate hard days with easy days, cardio work with strength-training. If you use the same muscles over and over, doing the same stuff, you increase your risk of injury.

n Wear protective gear. Eye guards, shin guards, kneepads whatever is appropriate to your sport.

Love running, hate weights. What to do?

You hate weights? Not good. A bad attitude will cause you either to quit or get injured, and neither will help your running.

So here’s the plan. Experiment with a new mindset, a new approach. For starters, start working with free weights instead of all machines.

Second, when you lift, play a little game with yourself. Get a mental picture of the muscles being worked (a good anatomy chart is a must) and visualize what you’re doing as you’re doing it. Pump, squeeze, pump, squeeze, you get the idea. Bring your breath into play, too. Don’t just mindlessly lift. Exhale loudly when you exert effort; inhale softly when you release. It’s also helpful to keep a training journal so you can track on the progress you’re making.

Training with a trainer is a great luxury, but in your case, you may be using the trainer to detach yourself from your own process. Get involved. Find the fun in it. And vary your routine every four weeks or so to keep it from feeling stale.

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