Things have been pretty crazy around the office lately, with a handful of new people trying to get in, snowbirds coming back and trying to juggle all the proverbial “balls” it’s been tough getting my e-newsletter out when I wanted.
Isn’t this such a common occurrence in life? You have great intentions to do something good but the busyness of life sometimes stifles you.
This is no more prevalent than with exercise, which is the topic of today’s article. Pretty much everyone on the planet knows they need to exercise but not many of us do the right types of exercise consistently.
Sure, most of us get some form of physical activity, whether that is walking, leisurely riding a bike, playing a sport or doing physical work, but very few of us do the type of exercise that will give us all the benefits we really need.
I wrote about this form of exercise in my last article, it’s called Resistance Training.
Resistance Training is a form of exercise that uses a form of resistance (which could be your body weight, a machine, a free weight, an elastic band, etc.) placed strategically onto your body to stimulate your muscles in the right manner.
In my last article I wrote about the anti-aging effect this type of exercise has on our body by signaling our DNA to produce more cells to replace the ones we lose through the aging process. This makes Resistance Training one of the closest things we have to a fountain of youth.
Today I want to go a bit more in depth into how this type of exercise can help protect the body from injury and accelerate healing.
One of the things that is often revelatory about my consultations with people is when I tell them how injuries occur. This almost always comes up in our conversation because they are usually struggling with a repetitive stress injury and they want help to get better. Most people have never been told what REALLY causes EVERY injury. Have you? If not, read the next few paragraphs carefully.
Few of us are aware that there is an invisible monster out there wreaking havoc on our bones, muscles and joints. Sometimes this monster hits us so hard that something tears, sprains or breaks. Sometimes he just hits us hard enough to cause a tiny bit of damage that goes undetected and unfelt until it’s repeated hundreds or thousands of times. In either case, the effects of this invisible monster can be devastating to our quality of life.
I’m sure you’re probably asking yourself “what is this invisible monster?”
I’m glad you’re getting curious.
This invsible monster is pulling on us constantly. Its effect increases as we are more active, especially if we do anything that is weight bearing. In fact our “weight” is actually a measure of how much of it our body exerts onto the scale we use to weigh ourselves. Every time we take a step this monster tries to take a bite out of us and our muscular system has to fight it to protect us. When we walk, run, lift weights, play sports, bend over or do anything else that requires movement, he tries to take another bite out of us. Unfortunately sometimes he wins, but if we are strong enough we beat him every time.
What’s this invisible monster? His name is FORCE.
Force creates every injury our body has ever had and ever will have (with the only exception of being burned).
Think about it, why do we use words like “strain”, “pull”, “tear” and “break” to describe our injuries? Because we are describing something exerting a force onto our body that did us harm.
What would you have to do to any other object if you wanted to break or tear it? You’d have to put some kind of force on that object that exceeded its tolerance level.
This is why 100 mile an hour hurricane winds are more dangerous than gentle breezes, because they exert more force onto the things they touch. And this is why steel buildings are more resistant to damage than cloth teepees, because they have a higher tolerance for force.
So when we are attempting to protect ourselves from injuries that can threaten our quality of life, what we are really talking about is increasing our tolerance for force. This turns our body into one that is closer to a steel building than a cloth teepee. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea??
Here’s the thing that you need to understand about defeating this invisible monster- our main line of defense against him is our muscle system.
Our muscle system has a special job of resisting incoming forces and absorbing them through their fibers, which eventually get dissipated as heat energy (which is a big part of why we sweat when we exercise or play sports. More force= more heat)
Try this to understand- take one hand and place it on top of the other. With your top hand push down (exert a force) into your bottom hand. With your bottom hand, try to resist that force and keep your hand still.
Feel what happened to the muscles of your arm? They had to contract hard to resist and absorb the force from your other hand. This happens all over our body constantly during literally everything we will ever do because we always have a force of gravity pulling on our body.
If our muscles are not able to resist against these forces than these forces will eventually defeat us by causing something to break down and get injured. Maybe it’ll be in the form of arthritis, a disc bulge, a muscle strain or tear, a stress fracture, a bursitis, a tendonitis, a fasciitis, etc, etc.
If you are not being diligent to “strengthen your defense” than the invisible monster will take you down, just like he’s taking down the 57.5% of Americans who go to the doctor every year because of musculoskeletal problems (according to a recent Mayo Clinic Study).
This is by the way why Muscle Activation Techniques is such a powerful way to help your body get better, because it will find every hole in your muscular defense and plug it.
One thing that needs to be done in addition to this though is Resistance Training to further fortify the walls. Nowhere in our body is this more important than in our spine. That’s why I’ve recorded a special Resistance Training exercise video specifically targeting the spinal muscles.
You can view the video here- http://youtu.be/vNW_74K_Euw
Also, if you’d like more info on muscles, muscle function and more specifically on Muscle Activation Techniques, check out my book “Improve Muscles-Improve Life” available on Amazon here-
Remember, the best offense is a good defense.
Enjoy fortifying your walls,