Playing a collegiate sport is time consuming, tremendously competitive, requires body development, is rewarding and fun. Once the sport is completed and competition is over, athletes must transition from a highly structured and competitive environment to a different lifestyle of physical activity.
A 2021 study in the Journal of Athletic Training, Health-Related Quality of Life in Former National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Collegiate Athletes Compared With Noncollegiate Athletes: A 5-Year Follow-Up, researchers found,” it appears that individuals in the non collegiate athlete cohort engaged in more physical activity, weighed less, and had increased HRQO (health-related quality of life).” The sudden transition from sport to daily living is a move that coaches and athletes must reflect on and address before leaving collegiate athletic competition.
Big, Quick and Strong
In many sports having great size and strength is advantageous and important to excel in, but can be difficult to maintain that same fitness level and dedication that was obtained when competing and there is no longer a necessity to remain the same size. Once removed studies show for many a 5-10% weight loss includes: improved physical health and quality of life. There is a significant association between weight loss and reduction of pain from years of competition. This is not only in knee load but in the upper back, lower back, and hip regions, as well as lowering inflammation.
It has been concluded that for each pound of body weight lost there is a 4-pound reduction in knee joint stress in the overweight. Modifying the compressive load by getting into a new physical shape – shape for daily living – can add longevity to joints by reducing this daily stress that evolves from each step that is taken.
Be strong and fit for sport, be strong and fit for daily living, both are important and both are challenging.
Maintaining The Same Fitness Level and Motivation is Difficult Once Sport has Concluded