Elite Masters Athletes – 5 Changes They Have Made to Maximize Performance Lorraine Pelley November 15, 2018 Featured, Health 1529 Aging is a natural part of life. For recreational athletes, a lack of understanding in age-related changes can increase their risk of injury. But elite Masters Athletes have devoted their life to their sport and understand there are factors that affect their performance. Over the years, they learn to incorporate the natural aging process with their athletics to maintain the highest level of fitness performance. With age comes wisdom and the knowledge that if we want to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, we must make a conscious effort to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. Where younger athletes might take advantage of their vitality and quick healing responses, mature fitness enthusiasts have a better understanding of the need to balance lifestyle and exercise regiments. There is no denying that the body starts to decline after a certain age and that this decline can significantly impact movement. But elite Masters Athletes have gained an appreciation for balancing their lifestyle with their game play. They adjust their lifestyle to meet their fitness needs. Some areas of transition include: Nutrition The older you get, the less you need to eat. Because the body absorbs less essential vitamins and minerals as we mature, it is important to make the calories consumed count. Many Masters Athletes are more aware of the foods they are consuming. They become more diligent with maintaining a diet rich in nutrient dense foods and low in empty calorie consumables. Rest As you go through the decades, your body requires more resting time to function during the day. When physically active, rest becomes even more important to keep the body in tip top performance shape. Older sports enthusiasts know the importance of getting a proper sleep so they can perform optimally. Every mature athlete has different resting needs so knowing your body is important for maintaining a healthy performance. Most adults over 40 know their abilities and limitations. They have developed their strategies for incorporating proper resting periods with physical fitness that work well for their individual needs. Recovery Times The aging athlete’s recovery time is longer than younger sports enthusiasts. As we get older, we start to appreciate our mortality and health more. There is more confidence and understanding of the changes that are naturally occurring in our human form. We know that our aging human tissue needs more time to recover from use and injury. Elite Masters Athletes are more adept at incorporating their recovery times and therapies into their daily routine so they do not cause permanent damage to their body. Know Your Limits Mature athletes know their limitations in what they can and cannot do. For the aging sportster, this is actually very beneficial to their athletics. While older athletic individuals will not over exert themselves and risk injury, that doesn’t mean they hold back when performing their sport. Quite the contrary in fact. Top performing older athletes push themselves to their peak, striving to reach their peak performance ability every time. There is no half effort during their game, it’s 100 percent or nothing. There is no denying that the body changes as we get older, but like a fine wine, our wisdom and drive improves our ability to perform during our game. Elite Masters Athletes are exemplars of successful aging and sport. Through appreciation and understanding, they have developed a lifestyle that maximizes their health and performance.