Thursday, April 12, 2007

The sky is falling...or...My joints are doomed...

Yes I did watch Rocky and Bullwinkle as a child ;) But this is a post from the forum today and thought it was worth re-posting here:

All of the recent talk on aging and joints degrading has me thinking of "the sky is falling" or more appropriately in this case - "my joints are doomed"...

Take a deep breath and relax - this is a similar vein of discussion that people get into when genetics get the blame for everything and hope is lost because it is all predetermined by "genetics".

Siff and Verhoshansky in Supertraining discuss how studies have shown that those joints placed under load are healthier that those not placed under load. In other words - use it or lose it - your body is built for efficiency and it will not expend the energy to maintain something it perceives as "unwanted".

Factors to consider:
We are a sedentary population - yes you may exercise for an hour a day but when walking or weight bearing for less than 8 hours a day your body perceives this as sedentary and it can start to pull back the efforts to maintain the joints. Lesson: Walk and move during the day - desk jobs, commuting, TV, video games etc...are all ways to be very sedentary (even if you "workout")

Nutrition: Fish oils, EFA's and a good diet give your body the building blocks it needs - and Water, Water, Water - do not even start to complain about your joints if you are not taking care of your nutrition.

Trigger points: Trigger points and posture and chronic stress can and will place your joints in a situation where they will take abnormal wear and damage - so learn how to take care of these or work with a professional to take care of these.

Strength matters: Weakness will increase joint misalignment and postural issues - strong, well conditioned muscles are able to support and respond to a joints needs - be strong.

Mileage matters: The more miles on a car - the more maintenence required - we are not much different.

Previous injuries matter: Scar tissue, bad motor patterns from compensation etc...all take their toll - so take care of them.

Move - squat, reach, walk etc... move and bear weight and give your joints a reason to stick around.

Strength train, walk, nutrition, joint mobility and "stretching" (yoga etc... take your pick) - balance your hard style with a soft style of training - Durablity matters.

I run into 25-30 year old people who act like they are ready to be put out to pasture - give me a break - Yes - aging isn't for sissys so do what you need to to stay healthy and vibrant.

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