I want you to think back to when you were a teenager. Can you remember what you were like? If you can, and maybe even if you can’t, I now want you to think about what your young self would have thought of you now.
As a teenager, would you have been happy knowing where you are today? The job you have? The house you have? The temperament and outlook on life you have? Your hobbies and life outside of work?
I think this is a great question to ask ourselves. Unfortunately, many times the answer is going to be that we would not be happy with a certain aspect of our current lives. One such area for me a couple of years back was my general athleticism and lack of active hobbies.
In school, all the way from elementary up through college, I was involved in some type of athletics. However, once I went through two knee surgeries and started grad school I got away from playing any sports. I still lifted weights, but it was predominantly machine-based strength movements.
One summer after grad school, my friend invited me to play football with him and some other guys. I was immediately on board because I pretty much like any sport. I knew I had lost some of my speed and general athleticism, but I was still fairly confident.
This confidence soon withered away as the game went on. I was embarrassed how slow and heavy my feet felt. I also rolled my ankle like three times during the game, which hurt for a few days after.
I could not believe how fast I had lost something that was such a big part of me when I was younger.
How about you? Would you be comfortable going out and playing a game with your friends? Do you think you could hold up and be OKAY with how you would perform?
Or, if you have kids, can you keep up with them? Do you have the energy when you get home from work to go out and play games with them?
If yes, then great! If not, then read on.
I am happy to say that by incorporating some of the tips below I now feel like an athlete again.
If you did not play sports and have never felt confident in your athletic abilities then that is fine, but I think that you would benefit from trying to improve them. As I will explain below, it is a great way to get in a good workout without feeling like you are “working out”. It is also good for your body. It helps keep you more mobile, trains speed, power, and reactive abilities, etc.
Like I said above, as we age, we quickly lose most of our athleticism. This is usually due to getting a job and becoming a lot less mobile – sitting at a desk working, refraining from playing games with your friends, etc. You make less and less time for activities outside of your job.
I bet when you were in school and got home you did not sit down on the couch and watch t.v., eat, and then go to bed.
However, once we age this becomes tempting after a long day at work.
So what can you do to keep or get back some of that athleticism? Here are some ideas:
1. Begin strength training with free weights (dumbbells, barbells, cables, and your bodyweight). Free weights are superior to machines because they require you to balance your body while lifting and also allow your body to move more naturally. Many machines restrict how your joints move and can be hard on your joints.
2. Add skips, jumps, hops, bounds, tumbling, med ball throws, etc. into your warm-up or outside the gym just for fun.
3. Get a group of friends together and play a sport – basketball, tennis, racquetball, ultimate frisbee, whatever. Not only will it help you keep some of your athleticism, but it will also help you burn some calories and get in a nice workout.
4. Join a local sports league.
5. Join IFAST! 🙂 If you want to start training like an athlete for the first time, or regain some of that lost athleticism consider giving us a call. We strive to make all of our clients feel like athletes.
Now go make your young self proud and play a little!!