I usually never take to social media to rant unless I am really fed up. So as I opened the paper this morning this article on how too much exercise for middle-aged men is deadly has just done that. Bit extreme…yes, a bit true…yes and a bit generalising…definitely!
I see the debate on both sides. Exercising has been found to be good for you however, in excess it can be harmful. But doesn’t this ring true for most things we do in excess, at any age?
So my point is this…we live in a society where obesity, laziness and constant negativity seem to becoming more popular. We are slowly catching up to the states shocking statistic of 1 in 2 people have a weight problem, largely due to in activity, fast food (being lazy) and not seeming to give a toss about it. Why aren’t we highlighting that and doing something constructive about it??
ANYONE wanting to change their life through exercise should be encouraged! They should not be scarred off with sad and in many cases, isolated stories of accident or even death. The amount of stories I have heard over the years how, triathlon specifically, have changed lives for the better far out ways the very sad and tragic ones.
One specific point this article made was these men are trying to.. let me quote, “recapture the excitement of their youth.” I may not be a man but I too got into extreme exercise, Ironman triathlons to be exact, in my middle age, my 40s. I can say this for sure I NEVER wanted to or did this type of thing when I was younger. There is no “re-capturing” going on here. I always liked sport, did my weekly aerobic class, swam with my friends in summer and only ran if I had to.
People take up sport for a plethora of different reasons. Some may be trying to get back to when they were still able to run a speedy 18minute 5k sure. But there are plenty of others, myself included, who have the time, money and fancy a challenge which gives them a goal to work towards. We just enjoy being fit and healthy it is really just that simple.
Instead of focusing on the middle-aged man in lycra (MAMIL) trying to be young again and risking his health doing all these extreme sports. Why don’t we encourage and praise them for taking up these amazing challenges safely through coaching and training. There will always be people that will take it to the extreme and not approach it wisely. But for the majority of others who do take their training properly, at any age, they should be examples and inspiration to others!
Coach Marsha (@Marsha_RGA)