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Getting Smaller

Most football players need substantial physical changes to continue to improve their athletic performance on the field during their careers.  Once their playing days are completed it becomes time to reduce body weight as few athletes are as fit, strong or need to be as large as they were in organized sport.

Remaining at a heavier weight for years post competition adds an undue stress upon the joints, which will affect one adversely in later life. A decrease in size becomes logical and necessary. For each pound lost there is a 4-pound reduction in knee stress.  This 4-fold lowering of the load per step means that there is roughly 4,800 pounds reduction of stress per mile.

If an athlete fails to make changes over a lifetime after miles and miles of movement year after year it is easy to understand the arrival of the common ailment of older athletes called knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears down over time causing joint pain. A weight loss of slightly over 10 pounds can decrease the progression of this ailment as much as 50%,  which certainly adds to the quality of one’s life they will lead..

If you are already experiencing the effects of your post athletic ageing joint pain it is important to remember the following information recently published in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals; Researchers studying almost 1,400 men and women concluded, “There is a significant dose-response relationship between percentage of weight loss and symptomatic improvement.”   For weight loss to be therapeutic in osteoarthritis pain reduction intervention, the amount one must reduce their body weight is roughly 8% to achieve a “minimal clinically important improvement in function.”

When you leave your sport you should think about Getting smaller and always think about Getting Strong.

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