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A Bad Case of 'Boomeritis'

Being athletic and over 40 can be a real pain, but staying active actually helps you deal with the pain.

Do It the Right Way

According to Kremchek, there are two kinds of physical activity problems for baby boomers: The first, and most common, is not getting enough exercise. The second is forgetting one's age.

"We are in society where we want to do at 45 what we did at 25, and to do at 65 what we did at 45," he says. "It is my goal to keep people out there and active and healthy in a safe way. The key, as Boomer told you, is to do things you enjoy, whether it is running or golf or swimming or hockey, but to do it the right way."

But what if you are playing with old injuries? Maybe you were a college track star and your joints have never recovered, or you suffer from chronic tennis elbow. For starters, you're not alone.

Baby boomers are credited with ushering in the original fitness movement in the '70s and '80s and continuing through the '90s and into the present. Unfortunately, they're also on the leading edge of sports injuries. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, sports injuries among the baby boom generation increased a whopping 33% in the '90s, contributing to the estimated 17 million sports injuries in America each year.

Boomer's Luck

Esiason can certainly weigh in on this one: "My feet kill me, especially in the morning when I get up," he says. "I played in the early '80s and '90s in those cookie-cutter stadiums with old Astroturf. You actually get hit twice every time you are tackled: once by the defensive player and once by the ground. And that old Astroturf hit hard."

Despite suffering three concussions during his career -- including, in 1994, being knocked unconscious in one of the most frightening hits ever seen on national television -- Esiason counts himself as lucky.

"Every professional football player leaves the game with some sort of ache and pain -- most have had some surgery," he says. "I was in the NFL for years and never broke a bone and never had invasive surgery. I am one of the few to leave in relatively good health."

The key to continued activity is finding new ways to move your body. Boomer's good health and aching feet led him to try a new sport in retirement: hockey. A self-proclaimed "fanatic," he took up the game with a vengeance.

"Now I play pretty much full time through the summer and winter months," he says. "And what do you know? It doesn't hurt my feet."

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