I’m pushing 50 years old. In 1-1/3 years, I’m at the half-century mark. Hard to believe. I received a “compliment” the other day from a patient at the Clinic. His words were: “Geez if you get any thinner (more fit?) you’ll have to move around in the shower to get wet.” I said “Thanks, I’ll take that as a compliment.” He meant it as one, so he said.
I do place a high priority on physical activity. I’ve aged with the good fortune of avoiding serious injury, which is not an easy task after playing Canada’s great game of hockey for the past 42 years. I did find a dip in my performance and post-exercise recovery after age 40, as well as some nagging groin muscle strain, and needed to experiment with nutrition and other routines to get myself at a higher level again. Here’s what I found out.
Pre-loading with fluids is essential. Going into the activity on the dry side is a huge mistake. The amount of water loss during an hour of hockey is enormous. I was bonking, and took 2 days to recover, because of inadequate hydration. I’ve use a product called eload, developed by a Toronto Sport Med doc, and was bringing a water bottle with the eload mixed in, to the game as well. More recently, I’ve made my own mix by adding sea salt and a little sugar to my 12 ounce BPA-free water bottle.
I discovered the need to get alkaline before, and re-alkalize after, using whole organic vegetables and my Vita-Mix blender. I eat 2 hours before, then gulp down my green drink an hour before and again blend it up at home when I return. The acid waste from exercise is neutralized. The recipe I use is one I developed for my own taste.
Last year I participated in yoga 2-3 times a week. Huge difference. As far as hamstrings go, I’m about as flexible as a diehard right-wing Republican (or firmly entrenched left wing Dem), so stretching was needed. Core strength increased, the nagging groin problems abated, leg power increased, and skating speed was back. Of course, I slept better and had a lot of stress relief from yoga as well.
After each session, I use my Oxyheath 320 to aid recovery. The hyperbaric treatment makes a tremendous difference in relieving acid waste build up, reducing my post-exercise fatigue, and flooding my overworked muscle tissue with much needed oyxgen, boosting mitochondrial activity.
That’s my routine. I invite other ideas .. always looking for more of an edge, especially on my skates!
Dr. John Gannage, MD
P.S. I apologize for the “right wing” and “left wing” political references…but the topic is hockey-based (I play centre, as you might have guessed).