Too old to compete athletically? Think again, these older athletes challenge the myth
Aging athletes are still competing says a Huffington Post article. In our practice, we have seen and helped athletes in their 60’s and 70’s compete both nationally and internationally. It is exciting to see people who challenge aging by competing and winning in their age groups. You are only as old as you think you are and apparently, these athletes forgot they are older. Some are doing marathons, while others do track and field.
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7 Senior Fitness All-Stars Who Stay Competitive
The Huffington Post Meredith Melnick
Ever wonder if you’re too old to train for a new sport? Consider the case of R. Laurence Macon, a trial lawyer from Dallas, Tex. who recently broke a world record for the number of marathons completed in a single year, with 113 certified races in 2011 alone. According to Reuters, Macon completed his final marathon of the year on New Year’s Eve day, which was also the day he turned 67. Although the feat hasn’t yet been submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records, his advanced age has gotten a great deal of attention. Though he insists he’s no elite athlete. Reuters reported:
Macon, who said he is in “lousy” physical shape for 67, said he just “goes out there and puts one foot in front of the other” and doesn’t attempt speed records. In fact, he said his fastest marathon time is four hours, 45 minutes — twice the usual winning time.
The story is certainly an inspiration to many would-be older marathoners, but Macon isn’t the only Social Security recipient who tears up the track. A growing number of senior citizens — or even just those who’ve aged out of conventional sport — are competing at major athletic events like marathons, and some are outperforming athletes half their age.
But even for older adults who are in “lousy” shape, the process of training in a sport can be excellent for health. Studies show that regular exercise and training can slow the degeneration of bone density, muscular development and balance in older adults — three physical functions that decline with age. And although aging inevitably has a negative effect on sports performance, one 2008 study of competitors in the Senior Olympics — age 50 to 85 — from the American Journal of Sports Medicine, found that major declines in performance time don’t occur until after age 75.