There are times when a little competition is fun along with your Functional Fitness training.  We see it being promoted with Cross-fit, World’s strongest man, Ninja Warriors, mud runs, triathlons, marathons, obstacle courses etc… The competitors are doing some amazing acts of physical fitness.  They are displaying power, balance, flexibility, agility, and endurance.  They are pushing themselves to their utmost limits.  I have noticed in some competitions that the athletes are taping all their major joints and wearing knee and arm braces.  After watching some events I have to say my body is hurting by just observing these competitors.  They are competing at such an extreme level that their bodies in the future will be candidates for joint replacements and muscle injuries.  Now in my late fifties I feel the effects of growing up in a gym and playing competitive sports my whole life and compared to kids and young adults today I didn’t do anything.  By the time the kids now make it to high school they have trained and competed more than I did well into my thirties.  I have had a torn Achilles tendon in my forties and a hip replacement a year and a half ago.   I have lived a super active lifestyle playing football through college, recreational basketball, running track, pole vaulting, surfing, ski and snow boarding, rock climbing, hiking rollerblading, roller hockey, bike riding, body surfing and the list goes on.  Even with the injuries I wouldn’t change a thing.  Even today my new recreation sport is table tennis and this is one of the most competitive and fastest sports going, I love it.  With this said you need to be smart about competing at any age.  So when you enter Competitions at any level here are some Functional Fitness tips to think about:

  1. Extreme physical efforts in any sport over time will have severe long term effects on your body.
  2. Choice your events that are suited to your own personal abilities, you are only competing against yourself.
  3. There will always be someone better than you sooner or later, know when to quit.
  4. Give yourself plenty of rest between competitions.
  5. Be careful you are not over-training before you compete, this can lead to a serious injury.
  6. Stay away from sports enhancement drugs and supplements.  These products work, but they may take your muscular abilities well beyond what your skeletal structure can handle (joints, tendons, and ligaments).
  7. When you are younger you don’t think your body will ever hurt.  But as you get old things wear out.  So if you are older, just keep moving and keep lifting weights!!!  If you are younger make sure you’re not over doing it, you will pay the price later.
  8. Ask yourself a simple question before competing, “Am I having fun?”  If training and competing is not fun, what are you doing?
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