As athletes, we often take our health for granted. We assume that because we are in good shape and regularly participate in physical activity, we are immune to health problems. However, the truth is that athletes can suffer from a wide variety of health issues after retirement. This can be due to a number of factors, including age, injury, and lifestyle choices.
It is important for retired athletes to be aware of the dangers of these health problems and take steps to prevent them from developing. In this article, we will cover some of the common health issues of retired athletes and how to address them.
Obesity can become a major problem for retired athletes, as they may struggle to find a new hobby or activity that keeps them as active as they were when they were playing sports. Without regular physical activity, many athletes will pack on the pounds, leading to obesity and all of the health problems that come with it.
Joint pain, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes are just a few of the risks associated with obesity. Retired athletes need to be proactive in finding a new hobby or activity that keeps them active, or else they could be setting themselves up for a host of health problems down the road.
High Blood Pressure
Retired athletes are often prone to high blood pressure because of the toll that playing sports takes on the body. Physical activity is a major factor in keeping blood pressure under control, so when athletes retire and stop getting regular exercise, their blood pressure can quickly rise. High blood pressure can lead to a number of health problems, including heart attack and stroke.
It is therefore important for retired athletes to find a new hobby or activity that keeps them active and healthy. Taking up a new sport, joining a gym, or simply taking brisk walks every day can help keep blood pressure under control and prevent serious health problems down the road.
Osteoporosis is a serious health problem that can affect both men and women. However, it is particularly dangerous for retired athletes, as playing sports can put them at a higher risk for developing the condition.
It is important for retired athletes to be aware of the dangers of osteoporosis and take steps to prevent the condition from developing. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and taking calcium supplements can all help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It’s also wise to know how to address issues related to weaker bones, like osteoarthritis. Wearing knee supports and braces can be of great help for retired athletes who are still active.
Depression is a major mental health problem that affects retired athletes at an alarming rate. It is estimated that up to half of all retired professional athletes suffer from depression after they retire, which can lead to serious consequences for their physical and mental health.
The pressures of being a professional athlete can be immense, and those who experience a career-ending injury or extended period of time away from the sport may develop feelings of sadness and hopelessness. This can quickly become clinical depression if left untreated.
Brain diseases can also be a major problem for retired athletes. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a condition that can be caused by a number of things, including concussions, car accidents, and falls. TBI can lead to a wide variety of problems, including memory loss, headaches, dizziness, and seizures.
It is therefore important for retired athletes to be aware of the dangers of TBI and take steps to prevent the condition from developing. Wearing helmets and staying current on safety guidelines can be of great help to retired athletes. Additionally, it is important for them to keep up with their physical and mental health.
Drug Abuse or Addiction
Retired athletes often turn to substance abuse when they feel depressed and unfulfilled by retirement. Drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine can often be seen as a way of coping with feelings of loss or depression. Substance abuse can quickly turn into full-fledged addiction as retired athletes begin to rely on drugs as a source of solace.
Coping with the End of Athletic Career
As mentioned, career-ending injuries or simply retiring from a sport can lead to some form of depression, depending on the circumstances surrounding it. Retired athletes who can’t find a hobby or activity that keeps them as active as they were when they played their sport may be dealing with feelings of sadness and emptiness that can lead to depression.
In conclusion, retired athletes are at an increased risk for developing a number of health problems shortly after their athletic careers end. It is important for them to be aware of these issues and take steps to not only prevent them from occurring but also address any symptoms that might arise in the future. Doing so will help ensure a healthy and happy post-athletic career.