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Michael TorchiaOperation Fitness
Michael Torchia

Fitness Over the BIG "Four-O"
The risks of working out over 40

America's Fitness Boom has bred a generation plagued with severe joint problems and eating disorders. The famed phrase "NO PAIN - NO GAIN" was drilled in baby boomers brains, along with extreme methods of diet and exercise regimes.The search for physical perfection created a generation of driven and, at times, obsessed individuals. Many fitness gurus and celebrities profited from the boomers need of achieving quick and easy methods of weight-loss. Men wanted that perfect six-pack and women desired buns of steel. All sorts of exercise gadgets, diet books, tapes were being sold via television, radio and various publications promising eager boomers an easier, better way to become one of the "beautiful people".

Workout-Related Injuries Are Now EpidemicThis fitness obsession has come at a price: according to a 2003 survey by National Ambulatory Medical Care, the 78 million Americans born from 1946 to 1964 have elevated sports injuries as the No. 2 reason for doctor's office visits nationwide behind the common cold. Along these lines, the Consumer Product Safety Commission examined emergency-room visits in 1998, and discovered that sports-related injuries to baby boomers had risen by 33 percent since 1991. The most common injuries sustained by over use by the boomers are the knees, shoulders, hips and the lower back.The fault for the ironic toll of fitness obsession lies with unreal expectations. Many middle-aged adults seeking to get back into shape start their fitness routines at the same extreme levels of intensity as they did in their twenties. Common ailments among the middle-aged people such as poor posture, long-term excess abdominal weight impacting the backbone, and knee-related injuries can be aggravated by working out.

Starting A Workout Schedule: The Four-Step Process

  1. Get your family doctor's adviceA further structural evaluation by a licensed medical professionalNutrition counseling
  2. Additional bio-medical evaluations

There are four beginning steps to getting started on to a fitness program.

The first step involves having a complete physical by a family doctor. At this point, avoiding injury should be the top priority and getting proper advice from a doctor is a given.

The second step involves getting a structural evaluation by a licensed physical therapist or chiropractor. Again, avoiding over training is the goal in order to maintain long-term fitness goals.

The Third step involves a nutritionist for a sensible meal plan, fourth step is to find a good certified personal trainer to design a workout program and to teach you how to properly train your body and avoid injury.

Finally, additional bio mechanical evaluations from certified sports clinics and fitness professionals can provides an added level of safety and can actually speed up the fitness process. Currently, sports-medicine practices are growing at an incredible rate because of the baby boomers. The improved evaluation services and diagnostics have been effective in helping boomers steer clear of health threats brought on by exercise.

After proper medical evaluations, finding a well-equipped gym and qualified workout trainers is crucial. Not all gyms or gym machines are created equal and some workout equipment is notorious for causing injury or being ineffective. Additionally, increased demand for workout instruction has led to a large increase in unqualified fitness trainers who lack basic training and knowledge of bio mechanics and exercise physiology.

At present, there is no standardized system for certifying fitness trainers but several certifying organizations such as the American Council of Exercise and the International Sports Sciences Association exist to provide professional training and information for fitness trainers and their clients. Asking a fitness trainer for a recognized certification should be the first step in hiring a workout trainer.

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