Stretching & Flexibility/Too old for sports?


I am 56. I am also overweight, and out of shape. Up until my late forties, I was still able to play pick up soccer with my co-workers. During the last game two years ago, I suffered a meniscus tear in one knee, and a pulled ligament in the other. Before that I got a bad case of plantar faciitis. That recently flared up again, and I am just getting over it. I am a slow healer, and all of those injuries took a long time to heal, and they needed physio, and an operation for the knee. Just lately I feel real good, injury and pain free, and am losing a bit of weight. Here is my 'issue':
My co-workers, all of whom are younger than me, keep inviting me out to play, now that I am 'healed'. 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 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, and concentrate on less physical exercise to avoid injury? I am thinking I should be stretching more and doing light cardio and not so much heavy and high impact stuff. and not Thanks for your thoughts!

Hi Bud,

Thanks for your inquiry. It's a pleasure to help and I hope the following is beneficial.

I would encourage you to trust your instincts. Stick with the stretching, light cardio and also add some easy strength work (nothing too intense). Give your body 6 months of this type of exercise before slowly incorporating more high-impact type exercise.

I hope the above has been helpful. For more information on stretching, flexibility and sports injury management, visit

Brad Walker
The Stretch Coach

Stretching & Flexibility

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Brad Walker (The Stretch Coach)


I'm more than happy to answer any questions relating to stretching, flexibility and sports injury management. Including how to use stretching to improve your athletic performance, prevent sports injury and aid in the recovery of sports injury.


I'm an internationally recognized stretching and sports injury consultant with more than 20 years of practical experience in the health and fitness industry. I'm also the founder of the Stretching Institute and

Sports Medicine Australia

I've written 5 books on stretching, flexibility and sports injury, including... The Stretching Handbook (ISBN: 978-0958109338), The Anatomy of Stretching (ISBN: 978-1556435966) and The Anatomy of Sports Injuries (ISBN: 978-1556436666). Plus, I've had numerous articles published at, and

I'm a health science graduate of the University of New England, with post graduate accreditation's in athletics, swimming and triathlon coaching. I've worked with elite level and world champion athletes and I've lectured for Sports Medicine Australia on sports injury prevention and treatment.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked as assistant coach to Miles Stewart (World Champion Triathlete) and Mick Doohan (World 500cc Motorcycle Champion). Plus I've worked with countless other athletes from sports as diverse as roller-skating, squash, and cycling.

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