At the beginning, irrespective of your level of experience, you are green (a beginner again), so achieving new levels of mind and body awareness is critical for each turn of the wheel. I strongly recommend that people have an assessment by a skilled physical therapist (PT) for general body characteristics, such as weak muscle sets or leg length discrepancy, and a sports medicine physician for cardiovascular fitness, before they start an exercise program or ramp up the one they are already undertaking.
Furthermore, I cannot emphasize enough the value of a few sessions, in a group or individual setting, of training in the Feldenkrais Method. You will reduce your risk of injury considerably if you do this. Furthermore, it pays to create a personal injury profile or map and take this with you to these professionals in order to help them guide you towards safe body movement and appropriate exercise that suits your level of fitness and your personal goals.
Following several years of Feldenkrais training, I’ve moved on to study Continuum with my dance and body movement teacher, Rebecca Amis Lawson, which has also resulted in remarkable improvement in my body movement and triathlon skills. Keep on learning, is my motto.
You will go nowhere without motivation, so it is essential that you determine what motivates you, personally, and to follow up with the appropriate reward, be it ice cream or a trip somewhere. For me it is nostalgia food, a Big Mac, believe it or not – we are conditioned creatures, and me on a Paleo Diet, nonetheless.
Where you can, learn appropriate skills from experts, whether you are taking up cycling (and all of it’s inherent dangers on the road) or tennis (which often leads to shoulder and forearm injuries if undertaken incorrectly). Try to find a way that works for your body, whilst avoiding injury. In fact, avoiding injury is the most important key to success after motivation to keep going. A great coach can make all the difference.
October 17, 2017 at 8:02 pm
Hello. I couldn’t agree more. I’m soon to be 69 and participate in Masters’ Track and Field, as well as 5k and 5mile road races. How many people look forward to reaching the next 5-year milestone? Folks like me who want to be the “baby” in the age category…….have to wait a year to be at the bottom of the 70-74 bracket. I too have become very aware of my body and any changes. My runner’s knee acts up sometimes, but ice and compression take care of that quickly. However, a torn muscle in my gluteous maximus that I suffered during a 10k race was a whole other story. For that, I needed serious rest and PT……but I knew right away it was serious. I also know now that 5 miles is my distance limit. Safety, as you point out, is highly important.