Evolution in Wellness
I recently saw a quote that went “The man who has his health has 1000 dreams, the man who no longer does has only one.” I’m not sure who originally said it (and please let’s all get past the male reference and agree that this applies to everyone) but it resonated with me.
I may have mentioned that I will be 53 years old this year. While I look and feel incredibly healthy, I did have a couple injuries last year that were not typical for me. Both of these injuries involved lifting heavy weights and it made me realize that I need to change up my routine in order to maintain my health.
Resistance exercise is still a big part of my workout regimen, but I no longer push the limits in terms of the amount of weight I lift. Instead I focus on movement. I run, I walk, I jump, I twist, I use my own body weight. I’ve lost some of the bulk in my arms and legs, but they are still solid. They are the long, lean muscles that don’t win bodybuilding competitions, but they work just fine. I have strength. I have balance. I have endurance and I have functionality. I am, simply put, understated elegance. I look like an average Joe, but if the situation calls for it I can flip that internal switch and handle whatever gets thrown at me. Fortunately that has only happened to me one time, and perhaps I taught that person never to underestimate someone again.
Training is necessary, but training for the lifestyle we choose to lead is crucial. I see far too many people training with too much weight and poor form. I’ve had to help rehab people who ignored injuries and made things worse. I’ve watched trainers – who should know better – require their clients to do some very dangerous things that ultimately lead to injury. Whether this is due to inexperience or simply the “macho factor” I have no idea.
So what’s my point? Evolution! We are no longer living in the 1800s, or the 1900s or even in the 2000s. We know things now that we did not back then, and we have things now that we didn’t have back then. When was the last time you used a rotary-dial telephone? Dial-up Internet? A black-and-white (or color for that matter) Cathode Ray Tube television set? An actual chalkboard in school? We have evolved. We know there’s a better way. How we train, what we eat and how we activate our bodies to look, feel and perform at our very best have all evolved.
You’d never know it by taking a tour of most of the overcrowded globe-gyms but the way we think about fitness has changed. It has become more about movement and less about building the perfect overly muscled body. I treat all kinds of soft tissue injuries every single day. I make the pain disappear. I correct muscle dysfunction and imbalances. I improve posture. I repair soft tissue injuries.
Many of the people I work on have those muscle bound frames that most people would kill to have, but it often comes at a terrible cost. The best analogy I can think of is that these are Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces on the outside but nothing more than a 10 year old Ford Fiesta on the inside. The injuries, tears, strains, sprains and accumulated scar tissue often develops into chronic issues affecting movement, posture and performance. If these people could evolve in terms of their training regimen – even if only partially – many would enjoy a much more comfortable state of fitness and wellness.
Taking the time to recover from our workouts is a step many of us tend to ignore. That mantra of “More is always better” eventually catches up to all of us. Recovering from our activities and our training is a crucial step towards the progress we are making.
I should emphasize that I said “active recovery.” That means we shouldn’t just sit on the couch with a Big Mac or a carton of ice cream because we had a touch workout and “earned it.” Rather, it means that instead of hitting it hard at the gym, find an activity you enjoy and do that instead. Take a walk, go on a hike, bike along the ocean or just find something fun to do and play. Stay active and keep moving, but do so at a slightly more relaxed pace. This will help keep those muscles from stiffening up too much from your workouts and it will give them time to heal. Oh, and skip the Big Mac and the ice cream.
The way we train is important, but equally so is the way we eat. If we put the wrong fuel in our automobiles we have performance problems and frequent breakdowns. The same is true with the fuel we put in our bodies. We are well aware that too much sugar and processed foods – whether by choice or convenience – can be quite harmful to our health and wellness (not to mention our waistlines). Since we’ve previously discussed the importance of this as well as offered up a step-by-step guide to eliminating the bad stuff from our diets I won’t dwell on this here. Remember the way we do something is generally the way we do everything so be mindful of what you put into your body.
Supplements are meant to do one thing and one thing only and that is to SUPPLEMENT proper nutrition in an area that may be lacking due to nutritional, environmental or hormonal challenges. They are not meant to be the main ingredient in our diets. I know people who have spent thousands of dollars on metabolic rebalancing and supplementation programs, and most of them are not the least bit better off than they were before. In fact I would argue they are worse off because they are out of pocket thousands of dollars!
In working with many of these people a main reason for their imbalance in the first place – if we are really boring this down to the ultimate root cause – is an accumulation of cellular damage. This, as I have said before, is Oxidative Stress – the root cause of hundreds of diseases and maladies that affect us every single day.
I take one supplement and only one. I have been on this for nearly three years. In that time I have stopped taking prescription medication for cholesterol, several patches of Eczema have completely disappeared, I sleep soundly, I feel great, I almost never get so much as a common cold and I can keep up with personal trainers and athletes a fraction of my age. More than that, many of my clients have expressed similar and even more profound results because they have been able to reset their cellular structure by making a very significant reduction in their levels of Oxidative Stress. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this, and I am more than happy to explain this in more detail to anyone who would like to know.
If you have any questions for Rick or want to get in touch with him – you can do so here:
Rick Binder – email@example.com / 858-707-5606
Great perspective, thanks!
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