As much as we want to think twenty is the new thirty, the reality is you are no longer twenty and your body no longer behaves like a twenty-year-old. In the grand scheme of things thirty and forty is not old; however, for solo athletes, it is very old.
How The Body Changes With Age
These are some of the physiological changes that happen as you get older: you do not recover as quickly as a younger player after a brutal match; you are more prone to wear and tear injuries; your quick response muscle fibers decrease with age, which impacts your movement; you lose functional reserve of the respiratory system with age, which makes you prone to respiratory compromise in physically stressful situations; bone density diminishes with age, making you prone to stress fractures; there is a loss of muscle strength (which you can mask with regular physical exercise); etc.
Serena Must Battle Another Injury
Thus, as much as these aging tennis players may want to keep competing, they are not only battling the opponents across the net; they also must battle the ravages associated with the passage of time. Serena Williams reminded us of this today; she has been trying to make a comeback since the delivery of her baby in 2017 and she has had to withdraw from tournaments because of one injury of another. Her knee was the most recent problem, and she was finally happy to be pain free. Now, she has something else to worry about, her back.
Physical Fitness Is Imperative
It is hard to maintain the level of physical fitness she once had when she was single. Now her time is not only split between the tennis court and her husband, there is also her daughter and all her social engagements that require her time. Unfortunately, as you get older, you must be more fully committed to your fitness, not less, if you want to avoid injury. So, while Williams may be getting injured because she is getting older, she could also be getting injured because she is not sticking strictly to her fitness program. The one thing I know from working out, is one week off can seem like one month off and you can become deconditioned quite quickly; thus, it is imperative to have a sustainable physical fitness program.
SOURCE OF IMAGES: Zimbio.com (Getty Images: Serena Williams)