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Benefits of Training Like an Athlete

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Anyone can train like an athlete. It doesn’t matter your age or whether you were an athlete in your younger years. Training like an athlete can be beneficial to anyone at any age. 

I have played sports my entire life, so I’ve always trained like an athlete. When I retired from the NFL, I continued to train like I was still in the NFL. Then, one day, I asked myself, “Why am I training like this? I don’t play anymore.” So, I stopped training like an athlete and started to feel the aches and pains from playing football.

I was talking to another former player and told him that I don’t train like I did as a player anymore, and he said, “Why Not?” I thought about that and realized just because I was in my 50s and wasn’t playing anymore didn’t mean I needed to stop training as an athlete. You also can train as an athlete at any age.

Here are a few reasons why training like an athlete can be beneficial:

Improved mobility and flexibility are essential. Athletes often engage in dynamic stretches and exercises that promote flexibility and mobility, which can help older adults maintain their range of motion and reduce the risk of injury. The lack of flexibility was the first thing I noticed when I stopped training.

As we get older, increased strength and muscle mass become very important. Athletes focus on strength training to improve performance in their sports. Older adults can benefit from strength training to maintain muscle mass, bone density, and overall strength, which can help prevent age-related muscle loss. Chest presses, squats, and deadlifts are some resistant exercises that should be done. Everyone can do different variations of these exercises.

Many athletic training programs have cardiovascular exercises like running, cycling, or swimming to improve endurance and heart health. These activities can also benefit older adults by reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions. 

Older adults can benefit by performing drills and exercises that challenge balance and coordination; skills athletes use that are important for sports performance. This training helps to reduce the risk of falls and improves stability.  

Training like an athlete also has a positive effect on your mental well-being. It can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. I feel much better physically and mentally when I finish a training session. Training can boost energy levels and combat feelings of fatigue and lethargy commonly associated with aging. Setting goals for improving running times or lifting heavier weights can provide a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

You don’t have to be an athlete to train like an athlete. Remember, DON’T JUST WORKOUT, TRAIN!!

About the Author

Vince Workman has over 20 years of experience in the Fitness industry and is certified through The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). After an 8-year NFL career, Vince was a scout and strength coach for the Green Bay Packers for six years. He then moved into the private sector where he developed a passion for helping young athletes and adults reach their goals in competitive sports as well as health and fitness. Vince currently runs the Speed Agility Quickness program at Peak Human Performance. He aims to teach athletes the proper way to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction most efficiently to maximize their performance on the field or court. Follow Vince: @pook46

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