Think you’re too old to hopscotch? Think again!

It’s been common practice for us to expect people to age gracefully. As people get older, they are often told to slow down or even stop exercising completely to avoid injury. While many people would believe this is the best approach, research has shown that inactivity is actually one of the worst things for people at any age, especially as we get older. Fractures, torn muscles and back complaints are common in people aged 60 and over, and a lot of these injuries can actually be prevented by simply doing the same things kids do, like skipping rope and playing hopscotch. INJURY CYCLEWhen you look at children, they’re always running and jumping around with virtually no consequences; they literally bounce around and hardly ever get injured. Over the years, people begin to move less as they prioritise other things in their lives, such as studying, work and family. As a result of being less active, bone density and muscle elasticity declines, increasing the risk of fractures and soft tissue injury. People then avoid activity and actually cause more harm to their body than they would have if they kept moving in the first place. The figure illustrates the vicious cycle that many people get into and struggle to get out of. It’s easy to see how people start to think that after injury they are never going to get back to the performance levels they used to be at. But it doesn’t have to be that way! In fact, it’s unbelievably important to get back to peak performance to maintain good quality bone and muscle tissue and stop the spiral into a life of health problems. So the next time you think “I’m too old to be playing hopscotch” or “people my age shouldn’t be running around”, think about the massive limitations these thoughts are putting on your body, and understand that reaching your peak performance and staying young aren’t out of reach with the right program and the right attitude!

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