Even if your not into sports you may be aware of one of the hottest topics in not only sports performance but overall peak output in any endeavor past the age of 30. Numerous pro athletes such as Tom Brady, Labron James, George Foreman and Martina Navratilova to name but a few, (all over the age of 40), are redefining our notion of how long an athlete can compete at a world class level and be competitive. They all seem to do certain things that are proving to be the Secret Sauce for this ability to defy the clock!
Anti- inflammatory diet
A shift to training less with free weights and more with bands
If you've ever been in my office it is more than likely what I did with you. Primarily ART, Active Release Technique or the new system I've incorporated called Motion Specific Release. This is basically aggressive soft tissue work with the magic of movement. What we have found is that when you dig into your soft tissue with enough force that you stimulate the nociceptive system, that part of your neurological system that transmits pain, as you may remember what I do kind of hurts a little doesn't it? I'm not damaging any thing but it's definitely not a Swedish massage. This stimulus along with movement is what makes it unique to normal muscle work, this establishes new neuro connections that not only decrease healing time but makes you more resistant to injury. i.e. Bullet proof!
The importance of drinking enough H2O cannot be overstated. The older we get the more true this is. Being dehydrated not only increases healing time but makes you much more susceptible to injury.
As you have heard me preach, inflammation not only drives pain but is the single greatest health risk we face. What you eat and drink contributes to inflammation more than any other factor. You will recover quicker after exercise, have much more energy and age less quickly if you incorporate this type of eating plan. If your a patient of mine than you should have received a copy of the South Beach Pain & Injury anti-inflammatory food guide I wrote. This is actually turning into a book project and is continually being updated, If you or any friends or family would like a free copy of the latest edition just shoot me back an e-mail and I'll see you get a copy.
Tom Brady has really been the leader in bringing this tried and true rehab training to the forefront of athletic conditioning . What we have found is that the type of muscle fiber developed through resistance training with free weights produces a very dense, tight muscle which is actually much more susceptible to injury than a longer softer muscle type. From a personal level I don't know any one who has been in the iron game for more than 10 years (myself included), who isn't an absolute train wreck! The reason is what's known in physics as load. Let's say I have 1500 pounds of bricks I need to move. So I throw them into the back of my truck. Now, all that weight produces a load on the suspension, the tires, the whole truck. But now lets say I put the bricks in a trailer and tow them behind me. Now I no longer have load, I have pure resistance! This is the difference between the two methods. Band training produces a much different training stimulus to the human body. One with no load!
If your an aging athlete or even a younger one who might want to stay in the game longer, than you for sure want to at least incorporate this type of training in your routine. There's no arguing with the results. Tom Brady at 43, Drew Brees, Jerry Rice, Bret Fare. The list is endless. Google the top athletes over 40 and it's a laundry list of whos who. Chiropractic has always been a go to tool these guys have used for years to keep their edge.
Many people hate on, especially pro sports athletes but look at how they have demonstrated what is possible beyond the preconceived notions most of us had about aging. This is a very encouraging and fascinating lab experiment in what were capable of even beyond what we all thought was possible.
If you can't get to someone who does the specific type of soft tissue work I do, than a vibrating foam roller or vibrating ball can be a substitute to add to your "daily" routine. Just keep in mind it will honestly never be as good as ART or Motion Specific Release….
As always, watching your back...……..Dr. Steve