How old do you feel? I often find that the way people answer this question has a direct correlation to how active they are. The greater the activity level, the greater the difference between reality and fact.

If we look closely at sport, we can find many examples of athletes, supposedly past their prime, still performing at elite levels; Dara Torres and Martina Navratilova immediately come to mind.

Many people stop sport when they leave school/university. The 70 year old weightlifter doesn’t owe his success to being a worldclass athlete, but rather he is an individual who kept training when others quit.

We can’t deny that certain physiological changes do happen as we age: decline in lean body mass, muscle power, skin elasticity and heart rate to name a few. But studies show that the decline is much less than we tend to accept. Simply put, ‘if you don’t use it – you lose it’.

As we age the rate of regeneration slows so we may not be able to train with the same intensity and at the same frequency of a younger athlete. But by continuing to take part in activities like Hapkido training, we ensure we work on our muscular strength and mobility as well as maintaining all-round fitness. In this way, we will always be younger, in the physiological sense, to our real age.

And before we classify an ‘old’ athlete as being ‘over 40’… I’m told that Jean Borotran and Kitty Godfrey still played tennis into their 90’s.




Hapkido training as we age.

One thought on “Hapkido training as we age.

  • 28th March 2012 at 7:51 pm
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    Unfortunately we are often defined by our age – indeed I am still smarting from being told that I was of advancing years recently (which is true but so is everyone else). But ageing is wonderful – it means we are alive! Simple but important. And all of us who are capable of physical activity have a gift to chreish and nuture. But as I have aged I have become stronger not weaker, and it is down to comitment to training and exercise. Not just Hapkido but cross training – looking to improve inherent physical weaknesses, training muscles to respond in a better way, increasing my flexibility, training my concentration. If someone tells me that I will ‘never be able to do such and such’ I rarely accept it. If it is physically possible for another person it should be possible for me as well, with correct training and practice and commitment.

    Whilst it is true that an elite runner will lose minutes from their best times, over the years it is amazing that a retired elite runner in his or her sixties or seventies, can still outpace younger non-professionals, at incredible paces. I am very reluctant to accept that at some stage in the future I wil cease improving – we shall see, but I reckon that I will continue to improve based upon time and comitment given to my sport. I acknowledge that my recoverry time becomes more important but I have no intention of slowing down!!

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