I just walked through the sliding doors of the fourth decade of my life. Now that I'm 31, I have three full train cars behind me and two of them were jammed with all types of joint killing athletic activity. However, as I sit in the first seat of this car, I stare at the possibility of another decade with pain free joints.
I know what you're thinking. At age 31 there is no way that you have that much mileage on your joints. On the contrary, with a decade of competing as a sprinter on the highest level, my joints(which only break down with use) can be light years older than the rest of my body with improper training... This is when you stop looking out the window and take off your headphones. I'll try to keep this short so you can have something to think about until the next stop. If you have more questions, hit me on twitter @tis4train, facebook Terrence M. Walcott or post it on this blog.
Your body is a moving machine with many moving parts. Any place where movement occurs is subject to wear and tear. ANY MOVEMENT! That means you can be breaking down joints every time you get out of a chair. Imagine what happens every time you run, spin or jump. Unlike muscles that can grow stronger with challenge, your joints NEVER get stronger.
We all have physical activities that we love doing and want to do for the rest of our lives. It's usually something we think we can do relatively well. Whether it's dancing, running, spinning, yoga, TRX or power lifting and many more, they all have their price. Their price is one day you won't be able to enjoy them.
The concept of less is more is what saved my joint life in my mid-twenties(car number three if you are counting). As stated in my second blog "You Can't Outrun A Train", you must consider what you are really getting out of over doing these activities. It is usually more of a mental satiation than it is physical benefit. There are only two options to increase the chances of healthier joints for longer use over the decades. You can find less destructive ways to clear your mind and stop doing what you love entirely: or you can train smart! Periodize your program. Make sure you are strength training to support the integrity of your joints. Turn long runs into intervals and take the inertia out of those power lifting sets for a while. Don't workout for now, Train4LIFE, TrainOrDIE!!!