The Fitness Trail: The physical trauma over time (column)
April 13, 2017
Did you play high school or college sports? Are you an avid indoor/outdoor recreational athlete? Then, there is a good chance that you may have accumulated physical trauma throughout the years. And, while there are certainly individuals that have suffered serious physical trauma which would require a different level of attention and expertise to manage, many others have simply accumulated physical trauma that by the time they reach their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond, becomes quite debilitating.
What's done is done, that is for sure. However, there is a spectrum of accumulated trauma (you want to reside on low end of that spectrum!) and if you really take notice, and honestly assess your physical state, you may be able to lessen some of the current effects of this trauma and certainly may be able to prevent further trauma from occurring. Unfortunately, what seems to be common is for the individual experiencing the trauma to rest, recover and perhaps go through a series of rehabilitative sessions, and then cycle right back to the same physical assault on the body.
Over time, stressing the body's accumulated trauma, is bound to seriously backfire perhaps leading to permanent disabilities. The good news is that this may be avoided if you become proactive and realistic about your current physical state today and begin to take measures that will lead to a more functional, productive and "happy" body! This week, please check out a few suggestions for how to identify the accumulated trauma cycle, perhaps prevent it or at the very least, decelerate the physical decline. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Suggestion 1: Stop and take stock. Are you consistently hurting somewhere? Have you been performing the same sport/activity, program or types of exercises for years? Every time you perform the activity that you "always have" are you debilitated afterward? Then, it is time for a serious change of strategy. Perhaps it is time to seek out your physician and have a full physical assessment which may lead to physical therapy or even surgery. But, one thing is certain—if you continue on this path, the outcome is unlikely to be positive.
Suggestion 2: Every exercise program we design takes into consideration many factors; however, all are analyzed for risk and benefits. Before performing any higher risk exercise or sport/activity, ask yourself this one critical question: "What is the purpose of this sport/activity or exercise?" If you cannot answer definitively, or your coach or trainer cannot answer immediately and possesses ample research to support the answer, then avoid that specific action if possible. Obviously, there are jobs, sports and lifestyles that may require these risky movement patterns. However, if that does not apply to you, then why are you performing the high risk movement pattern particularly if you are experiencing physical trauma? Further, when there are safe/effective alternatives (and there are plenty at your disposal—you just need a fitness professional to guide you toward that end), why take those risks?
Suggestion 3: Not just before, but during and after your sport/activity season begins, you must be consistently performing a well-designed exercise program. Staying strong throughout the year, will definitely go a long way to minimize or create further physical trauma.
Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.mtnlifefitness.com, her email at firstname.lastname@example.org and her Facebook page at Mountain Life Fitness.