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Jogging & Running/Too old for running and playing soccer?


I am 56. I am also overweight, and out of shape. Up until my late forties, I was still able to run, and even play soccer with my co-workers. Four years ago, I suffered a meniscus tear in one knee, and a pulled ligament in the other. I was badly hobbled, and it took an operation and lots of physio to get the knees OK again. I recently got bad case of plantar faciitis, and after 8 months, with accupuncture and cortisone shots, it has finally resolved. and I am just getting over it. I guess you could say I am injury prone and a slow healer am a slow healer! I am also not really athletic, I just like to play with the other kids! Just lately I feel real good, injury and pain free, and am losing a bit of weight. Here is my 'issue':
My co-workers, most of whom are younger than me, have noticed I am better, and they keep inviting me out to play soccer. I admit I am very tempted! The mind is willing but the flesh is weak. I would love to go out for fun, but I feel I will just re injure myself again. Am I better to just watch from the sidelines and cheer these days, or should I join in? For that matter, is there an age when doctors reccommend that guys should hang up the cleats for good to avoid injury? Thanks for your thoughts!


Great question! The simple answer is no, you're not too old to play and there's no specific age that we recommend you stop.  There is a big "however" though. You need to build up to it though. You need to be exercising regularly and then play a little soccer and slowly play more and more. I don't know what you're current activity level is, but if you do a significant amount more than you are then you have a significant chance for injury. However, if you just do a little bit more each week then eventually you should be able to get out there again.

Also, it may be a good idea to see a physio once or twice a month regularly to help you with exercise questions and interpret any symptoms you may have.

Don't hesitate to ask more questions. The take away message should be is that it should be a goal to play soccer, but maybe not tomorrow. You can build up to it. Good luck!

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Nick Rainey


I can answer questions about pain and training program. If there is a question about running that I don't know then I'll do some research and make sure I provide you with an answer.


I'm a Doctor of Physical Therapy. I'm a track and cross country coach. I train clients throughout the year. I've helped prepare athletes for their NFL Pro Days. I've written articles on running. Finally, those that I work with have less pain and run faster.

American Physical Therapy Association- Sports Section

The 6 Week Workout Program- I'm the author of this book Many articles on the internet including,, and my blog

Doctor of Physical Therapy BS in Exercise Science NSCA- CSCS and CPT USA Weightlifting Level I NPI- Certified Posture Specialist Total Motion Release Level II Certified Dry Needling

Awards and Honors
National Posture Institute's International Perfect Posture of the Year Award 2011 Clinical Excellence Award- Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions Aegis Therapies Scholarship recipient

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