Active Seniors

The ultimate generalists and why we shouldn’t specialise too much!

When looking at humans in comparison to different species of the animal kingdom, it becomes apparent that although we may not be as competent as some other species in some specific skills, we are in fact a very good all rounder. While we may not be able to swim like many of the creatures that live in the sea, we are still able to survive and move about in water. The same can be said of skills such as running and climbing. In addition we have the added benefit of dexterity as well as good ability to lift and carry objects.

Our bodies were designed with this in mind and hence we have symmetry in the limbs and many of our other physical attributes. Unfortunately many of the activities that we participate in bias one side of our body. In bowls we only use one arm and move our legs in different patterns that stress each leg differently. When we are working on a computer, we operate the mouse often in one hand only. Even when we drive we predominantly use one leg to control the accelerator and brake.

When we specialise our activities to bias one side we can often overload this side and create movement problems and injury. This is one of the reasons why it is essential to generalise and vary your activities to ensure that all parts of the body are being moved and used. While specialised practice is necessary to improve your bowls or golf skills, other generalised movements should complement this practice.

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