Scaling Back: Retiring from competitive boxing

You could be forgiven for thinking that the high energy and adrenaline-pumping sports we love are only for the young - after all, most boxers retire around 30. Full body workouts and hard-won matches don’t make you think of senior citizens - however, getting older doesn’t necessarily mean disappearing from the scene and turning to the couch. As your body grows older, you simply need to adapt your diet and workout regime to accommodate it.

Switch it up

Up until your late 20s and early 30s, your body is still improving: getting stronger, faster, and more powerful. The basic fact of life is that at this age, it starts going the other way - and while keeping fit and in good shape is definitely possible, the edge of youth is fading. You might have to retire competitively or from serious bouts in the ring, but by making a few changes in your workout you can still keep active and do the sports you love: just do the same exercises but at a lower intensity. The body finds it harder to recover as you age, so schedule rest days or lower impact activities like swimming and cycling between harder workouts.

What’s on your plate?

Another tough truth of aging is that your body needs less calories - and if you’re cutting back on your training regime, then even more so. Getting overweight as you age is all too easy and can lead to a whole host of other health problems like heart disease and diabetes. In the last fifty years, obesity has grown rapidly due to changing lifestyles and eating habits - so keep an eye on your portion size and make sure you’re getting enough nutrients from well balanced meals.

Keeping your hand in

This may all sound a bit like doom-and-gloom, but it’s always good to be prepared; after all, if you retire from competitive sports at 35 you’ve still got another 30-odd years before you retire from a regular job. Just because you’re no longer in your prime doesn’t mean you have to give it up altogether; simply scale back a bit. Keep going to your training gym or club for the social side of things too, or maybe volunteer as a coach or mentor for a younger competitor.

Keeping on top of your body condition as you age is a great help in reducing chronic illness and mobility problems. Always go at your own pace and get any concerns checked out by a professional - and most of all, make sure that you’re enjoying yourself.

Written by Jennifer Dawson