What are You Willing to Live With?
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What are You Willing to Live With?

Over the course of my career, about half of my clients had some sort of permanent damage to a part of their bodies from accidents or just enjoying life. One was an avid skier in his early 70s whose knees didn't like being shock absorbers any more. Several were former cheerleaders and gymnasts who lived with life altering back and hip damage. Other clients sustained damage from just not knowing any better than to do what they did the way they did it. Oops! One was a young adult man who wanted big muscles got caught up with anabolic steroids and muscle building supplements. At just twenty years old, he lived with seriously high blood pressure that threatened his life. Many people live with life altering conditions from saying yes in a hasty moment for temporary glory. What we do in life has consequences-- both good and bad. These people discovered this truth. What you do today you will live with later. What do you want to live with?

Exciting thrills come with a huge price tag.
As a martial artist, I have my own set of damage from this sport/art. I remember doing a demo at a church with our demo team. Let me just say that a board didn't break during a fire break. I had a bad bruise from my pinky finger that ran part way up my arm. The remnants are joint damage in that pinky and wrist which are my weather forecasters! Overall, I came out well compared to many. It was fun to do demos or go to tournaments, but not so much when the consequences rear their ugly reminders today.

Learn to work out smart.
If you do HIIT, Bootcamp, Tabatta or any other heavy hitting exercise or sport, learn how to do the exercises safely. Don't rely on the instructor because there are instructors who have no clue! We are all taught safeties, but they don't all come to mind for instructors or trainers who get swept up in the adrenalin rush in their heads while teaching a class. Shop for a good instructor, not just a class. If the instructor is working out with the class, are there new people in the class? Is the instructor paying attention to the class or getting a rush from working out? There have been some serious accidents happen because of this very problem.

But there is also long term damage for doing high intensity exercises too often. If Tiger Balm and Biofreeze are common staples for you, you are likely to sustain repetitive stress damage. Heavy lifters have this problem. Runners have this problem. People who jump a lot have this problem. When I was taking a HIIT Instructors' Certification course, I  could quickly see lower back, hip, and knee damage for the course trainer's future. She loved jump squats on an aerobic step. That much force done repetitively puts the iliofemorial ligament, femoral head and neck, and the acetabulum at risk of serious damage. It put a strain on my bad knee, so I had to put my knee brace on with the side stabilizers, meaning it could easily cause uneven wear of the knee. It doesn't matter how well your shoes are engineered nor the plyobox you are using absorbs the majority of the shock, constant pounding will catch up with you. Instead of quitting altogether, vary your workouts. Cross train to work your body differently. Enjoy the benefits of these great exercise formats, but be smart in how you do it.

Super safe has it's own quirky rewards. Whoever invented bubble wrap probably created quite a cash cow! But bubble wrap was never intended to be worn by people afraid of getting hurt. People who avoid doing anything with even marginal risk lose out on the joy of having fun. Yes, the exercise equipment in the cardio and weights is valuable. But if all you do is your regular treadmill routine and weight machines, the risk of serious boredom is imminent. Even that can be spiced up for a fun challenge. Functional training is F-U-N and knows no age boundaries. If you are sitting on the sidelines protecting yourself from every possible accident, you lead a boring life.

Working smart while working hard brings success.
Safe people who take calculated, well-planned risks have greater health, a better outlook on life, and feel productive. Who doesn't want these consequences? Try something new that fits in your interest and ability level. Do your homework to find out what you are getting into. Learn what to watch for. Some reputable websites are from universities and exercise professional certifying agencies for the most part.

I love a good, hard workout that isn't boring. I also like having an uneventful workout session, don't you? I really love the results of feeling good, lowered body fat to lean muscle ratio, with a heaping dose of stress relieving fun. Anyone can have an accident resulting in long-term damage. That should be rare. The key is working smart. Good stewardship of your body includes getting the exercise you need and enjoy without paying a nasty price.You can save a boatload of cash in pain relief meds with a fit, lean body. Find what works best for you all around. Choose, but choose wisely.

Images: Plyo Jump by Ham Vi Pham Thi at https://unsplash.com/search/jump?photo=k6uXppFf8Rs

Bubble Wrap Suit from http://www.softwrap.net/bubble-rolls/.

Run Bridge by Curtis Mac Newton https://unsplash.com/collections/219174/exercise?photo=5rKPeFcsSTY

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