What Does It Really Mean to Be A Masters Athlete? Lorraine Pelley May 4, 2018 Featured, News 651 The term Masters Athlete has been growing in popularity in recent years and with good reason. The number of people over 40 not only just participating but excelling in sports has taken over the athletic world with no signs of slowing down. In every fitness arena there are older athletes exceeding expectation to show just how far you can go in the golden years. In every age group there is always that one elite class that surpasses the norm to become an all-star player. As the Baby Boomers and GenXers continue to thrive in the field of fitness, some are reaching heights that were never believed attainable once upon a time. For the middle-ager starting a new sporting endeavour, what does it take to become a top notch golden athlete? Passion Regardless of age, one of the biggest attributes needed to play any game is passion. First and foremost, you must enjoy and want to play the game, run the track, join the team, lift the weights or attend the class. Commitment and Drive Becoming the best at any game requires a great deal of commitment and personal drive. Now while that might sound obvious to some, for Masters Athletes it can be more of a challenge. Older adults already lead busy lives. Their time is filled with jobs, household obligations, and family commitments and other responsibilities that easily take priority over personal development. Exceptional Time Management Most young adults have more free time than older athletes. The amount of free time to spend on exercise dwindles considerably as you get older and other obligations soon take precedent over personal desires. Older adults must now juggle their time between career, family, community, and home commitments. While fitting in regular fitness routines can be challenging, masters’ athletes find a way to make it work. Mature sports enthusiasts develop exceptional time management skills so they can schedule workouts into their daily routine. Innovative Older exercise buffs are very innovative in their commitment to stay in the game. Some wake up extra early while others incorporate their workouts into their work breaks. Others will involve their families into their athletic endeavours or use their daily commute as their training course. As busy as they are, older elites will always find a way to work their fitness regime into their day. Appreciate Change Like it or not, there are certain parts of getting older that we cannot stop like the natural changes that happen to your body. Older individuals learn to appreciate, understand, and work with the transitions of their physical form. They do not assume that they can perform the same way they did in their teens or twenties. They adapt their routines and recovery periods to best suit their aging body’s needs. But that does not mean they stop or restrict their performance in sport. Far from it! Change might be inevitable, but it is by no means a signal to stop. Mature teammates are not afraid to push their limits to achieve higher goals. Adjust Their Diet Older adults do not require as much food to get through their day so every mouthful must count. Nutrient dense foods provide the body with all the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain optimal health. Masters must further adjust their diet to meet the demanding requirements of their physical exertion. It is important to get the right nutrients for your mature physical form’s needs to improve performance. As we get older, our lives change personally and professionally. The years of being carefree transition into a fulfilling life of career, family, household, and community commitments that take up a lot of our time. For the elite masters’ athlete, incorporating their workouts into their daily schedules can be challenging, but not impossible. As long as you have the will, you will always find the way to excel.