Senior Citizens Feeling "Boomeritis"

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey

June 21, 2006

As the concern over obesity continues, so are the hours that people are logging on treadmills. Although this sounds perfectly healthy, the desire to be physically fit could lead to health issues later in life.

It may sound like a funny name, but "boomeritis" can become a serious problem. More senior citizens are filling doctor's offices with knee and hip injuries, and it appears to be the result of years of exercise.

"Boomeritis" refers to the giving out of key joints due to the wear and tear of intense physical activity over the years, especially in the "baby boomers."

Dr. John N. Hall, an orthopedic surgeon at Albemarle Orthopedics PLC, agrees that more baby boomers are seeking his help to maintain that eternal youth.

"I would agree that there are a lot of older patients that are remaining very active and having injuries associated with their activities," Dr. Hall said.

Baby boomers have been packing gyms and hiring trainers in an effort to continue to live a healthy lifestyle. Many gyms now offer low intensity workouts targeted specifically at senior citizens. Phil Rowland, a personal trainer at ACAC, believes that instead of worrying about age, you should listen to your body.

"There's no inherent reason why you can't exercise to quite intense levels more or less continually, you just have to listen to the body. If you're tired, if there's any aches or pains, then by all means, get [it] checked out," Phil said.

Even thought it may seem like a great excuse to reduce or eliminate your exercise regimen, don't! Doctors still assert that the best way to live the longest and fullest life is to get the recommended amount of physical activity.

Dr. Hall agrees, "I think it's important to stay active, I think people just need to learn how to go about it so they minimize their chance of having an injury. The more active-the better!"

Doctors are estimating that within the next 25 years, knee replacements will increase 8-fold, and the need for hip replacements will double.

Doctors also stress that you should check with a physician before beginning any workout plan, regardless of your age.


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