May the force not be with you

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Working out is supposed to prevent injuries so that you can do those activities that require being fit; it should not cause injuries.

Place a brick on one shoulder; have a second brick thrown at the other shoulder. Both weigh the same, but one will land you in the emergency room.  Same applies with exercise; explosive force
is dangerous. From this study Slow exercise better for menopausal women:

“Results showed that slower movement and fewer repetitions of exercises helped increase muscle mass in menopausal women which could aid future studies into the benefits of exercise as a treatment for menopausal symptoms.

These findings will be used to design specific exercise programs for everyday use to reduce the risk of injury and thus significantly contribute to a better quality of life in old age."


Lifting lighter weights produces the same results as heavier weights, a point to consider

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From this NYT article Lifting Lighter Weights Can Be Just as Effective as Heavy Ones:

“A new study finds that people who lift relatively light weights can build just as much strength and muscle size as those who grunt through sessions using much heftier weights.”

If lifting heavy or lighter weights produce the same strength increases you might do well to consider which produces those results in the safest manner. Increasing strength should not be the cause of injuries, but rather it should give you protection from injuries.

Whether the weights lifted are lighter or heavier in both instances the stress imposed on the body needs to be sufficient to affect a positive change. When the body is exposed to more than it’s used to handling, as an act of self-preservation, the body responds by making a positive adaptation if given enough time and resources to recover from the imposed stress.


A year after hitting bottom

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The presistant aches and pains from old injuries were my excuse for not exercising. Not exercising led to more aches and pains, less activity, weight gain, and weakness. In a weakened state illnesses are likely to be more frequent and protracted.

I got pneumonia and bronchitis, and my asthma flared up. My blood oxygen absorption rate fell to the low 80s. My heart had to work harder to get the oxygen I needed. As a result my blood pressure rose, and my resting pulse was twenty beats per minute higher. I was listless and constantly tired.

My cardiologist was concerned that I may have had a silent heart attack, so he conducted a series of tests.  I passed. That was almost a year ago, the bottom of a negative cycle. They say you have got to hit rock bottom before you commit to making a change.

Since that time I have changed my eating habits. I have not missed a strength training session regardless of the aches and pains. Funny thing is, the exercise made the aches and pains go away. Pain-free, I was able to add other activities. I began biking a couple times a week.


Heavy Weights with Minimal Force Can Be Safer than Light Resistance with a Lot of Force

See video

Care should be taken to minimize the likelyhood of injury when exercising. At New Orleans Personal Trainers and Austin Personal Trainers we use smooth controlled movement that minimize the ballistic forces that can cause injuries.  We also will use MedX medical rehab equipment that can be used by both athletes and those recovering from injury.


What to do when chronic running injuries occur

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Ted was a gifted runner. In his late forties his knees began to aggravate him, and they got worse each year.  At age 54 his doctor advised him to stop running. He started strength training with the aim of getting back to running.

We worked around his condition for a while and slowly incorporated leg exercises into the routine - leg curl, calf raises, leg press, adduction, abduction, squats, and occasionally partial leg extensions.

Ted wanted to start running again.  He did and the next day his was limping again. I told him, “You are able to lift 450 pounds on the leg press to a very deep fatigue to the point where your legs are unable to move, and the next day you have not a hint of pain.”  For Ted with adequate rest after strength training he came back stronger each week.  With running there was no recovery or improvement, only injury.


The Price Of Inactivity

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In the last 35 years I have had about a half dozen times where I got out of the habit of exercising as a result of injuries or life just getting in the way. When that happened I had a greater propensity to eat more comfort food. I would even get up in the middle of the night to eat. Of course I gained weight, sugar levels went up, bad cholesteral went up, and my blood pressure was a little harder to control. What was more striking was how badly I felt. Old injuries came back to haunt me.

Last year I tore my Achilles tendon right in two. The recovery was slow. I stopped all exercise for months. I woke up one day with a pain in my shoulder that’s lasted for days. I further injured it playing around with my daughter. The pain, numbness, and restricted movement lasted for months. Because I favored one shoulder I slept on the other shoulder, and it soon began to hurt as well.

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