An Elite Athlete’s Real-Life Training Plan

An Elite Athlete’s Real-Life Training Plan

Staying in motion is one of the biggest investments you can make in your quality of life, especially when it comes to healthy joints as we age. There is general consensus that moderate physical exercise is a healthy undertaking at all ages, including the elderly. While this article is about an ultramarathon winner in her mid-40s, it’s a great example of counting every movement as part of the goal.

As an orthopedic doctor in San Jose, California, as well as an active, outdoor sports enthusiast, I hear all about the challenges of keeping healthy joints. What I like about Katie Arnold is her commitment to using her existing life to involve her training rather than the other way around. The metal plate in her knee could have been the biggest excuse to stop running but it wasn’t. I like how she turned her challenges into strengths.

“You don’t necessarily have to train long for this, just smart. This is true for nearly any endurance event, whether it’s a 5K or 100 miles or everyday life. You have to be creative. You have to steal time from the edges of your day, teach yourself to eat on the fly, learn to function on suboptimal sleep, and keep going even when you want to lie down and cry. In other words, just like parenthood,” Arnold said in the NY Times article.

Healthy joints and counting every motion

Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero reported in 44 B.C. that even in old age, exercise and moderation can preserve something of young vigor. And since then, research into the positive impact of physical exercise on the quality of life and well-being, has been well established. Not a marathon runner? Not to worry. Count that dog walk, that stroll through the farmers market, that sideline coaching. Just keep moving and you will be more apt to have healthy joints and pain free living.

Source: The New York Times

The surprise winner of last year’s Leadville 100 ultramarathon credits the performance-enhancing power of parenthood.

Read more