Exercise for Life

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We all want to be able to do the activities that makes us happy. No one wants to be limited by their body. No one wants to be limited by their pain.

I have heard so many times the saying “If I had known I was going to live this long then I would have taken better care of myself.”

We are now setting the stage for a future of living a long, productive, and active lifestyle with little joint pain. Or our current actions can lead us to future filled with lots of pain, doctors, and very little activity. We are determining now how we will feel in the next 10/ 20/ 30 years. How we take care of ourselves now determines how we will feel in the future.

Even if you want to be able to travel after you retire, you have to maintain some level of activity. You have to keep yourself in shape to travel, to golf, to garden, to do the activities in life that you love to do.

If you do not keep yourself in shape to do these activities, you will not be able to do them for nearly as long a time as you would be able to if you do keep yourself in shape for those activities.

Even activities so benign as travel can be hard if you are not in shape for it. If you have trouble walking then you will not be able to tour a new city. You will have trouble navigating the airport. Even just going through security can be a hassle if you are in pain and cannot walk.

If you have shoulder pain it can be an issue to put a piece of carry-on luggage into the overhead compartment on an airplane.

You don’t have to let your life be limited by your body and limited by pain. You are making that decision now. The more you walk, the better you will be able to garden, golf, travel, navigate through an airport, or go on a walking tour of a new city.

The converse is true as well though. The more you let your body and your pain limit you, the less you will walk and the less active you will be. The less active you are and the less you walk, the less you will be able to do in the future.

The adage of “use it or lose it” it extremely true. The less you move, the less you will be able to move. You will lose it much quicker than it took you to gain it. It may take 6 months or a year to build up to walking half a mile or a mile, but you can lose it within a month or 2 if you stop walking.

Even if you have no joint pain or any joint issues, you can easily give yourself one by going from not walking at all to walking a 2 hour tour on vacation. You need to keep yourself in shape to do these regular daily activities. You have to be in shape to deal with life and all it throws at you.

You are never going to have a chance to do a bench press in the real world. You never use just one muscle or muscle group when in the real world. When you are talking to your friend while walking down the street and misstep off of a curb, hundreds of muscles will work together to catch you and prevent you from falling and hurting yourself.

I believe in training your real world muscles, or functional muscles. These are the muscles that will catch you while you are walking down a street, talking to a friend and trip over a curb. These are the muscles that will prevent you from falling and hurting yourself worse.

If you can train all of your muscles together, then they can work together to catch you when you fall. If you can train your balancing muscles then your balance will be better and you won’t trip and fall as much.

Training all of your muscles together will train them to work as one unit, like they do in the real world. Doing a bench press will not help your balance or allow you to walk farther. Just as walking will not prevent a shoulder injury.

You have to exercise your major muscle groups. You have to exercise the muscle groups that get overused and easily injured. I put together the Pain Free Lifestyle exercise program to hit these commonly overused and easily irritated muscle groups that we all have.

If you can exercise these muscle groups in the right way then you decrease your chances of injury and increase your chances of staying active and being able to do the activities that you want to do. If you want to be able to chase around after your grandchildren, then take care of yourself now.

Don’t allow yourself to lose range of motion or lose the ability to perform an activity. It is much easier to maintain something than it is to get it back. The analogy is that it is easier to prevent a fire than it is to put one out.

Don’t wait until fires start flairing up all over your body. Don’t wait until joints or other areas of your body become injured and painful from abuse, neglect, overuse, or inactivity. It is much easier to prevent pain than it is to get rid of it. Prevent pain now.

If you wait until a joint or another area of the body flairs up and becomes painful than it will be very hard to get rid of it.  Usually when a body part flairs up it has been getting irritated for a long time. The process of injury usually takes time. Even if it feels like it just came on with no rhyme or reason and came on quickly, usually these things have been building up for a while. Usually the body part has been getting more and more irritated over time. Muscles will slowly get tighter and tighter over time until they finally tear.

Keeping your muscles strong and lose will prevent injury. The stronger a muscle group is, the more stabile the joint they attach to will be. The looser a muscle group is, the less they will tighten up throughout the day. The less they tighten up throughout the day, the less likely they will be to become injured and torn. And the more likely you will be able to use those muscles the way they were designed to be used.

My wife and I just went on vacation. We went to a ski resort and really enjoyed being active. We downhill skied. We did a 4 hour cross country ski. We did a 5 hour snowshoe hike. We had a blast. It was so great being able to be active with the person I love.

But we work hard at maintaining that level of activity. There is no way that we could have done all of that activity if we didn’t exercise consistently while at home to maintain a level of fitness.

We have no problem walking across an airport. But we keep ourselves active consistently so that when faced with the opportunity of an adventure we can take full advantage of it.

Live a Pain Free Lifestyle. It will allow you to take advantage of all that life has to offer you. Don’t turn down any more opportunities because you are in pain. Get yourself in shape now so you can face life full on and do the activities that make you happy. Don’t let your health or your pain limit you. It is the Pain Free Way.



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