Let Movement Be Thy Medicine
Consider Using Movement over Medicine as a Primary Treatment for Many Health Conditions
So many people suffer daily with chronic pain, immobility and countless different health conditions. They desperately seek out doctor after doctor, specialist after specialist, in hopes of finding the “magic” treatment. Unfortunately, they continue to suffer, or even worse, develop more conditions because of the so-called “treatments” that they have been prescribed.
Well the good news is there is still hope and it is going to require some action and maybe even some fun. In my opinion, movement is arguably the most overlooked, undervalued “treatment” for chronic health conditions. A healthy movement practice can be the difference maker that restarts and reinvigorates your body. The research has been out there for years showing how the right prescription of exercise can help to prevent, reduce and even cure many common health conditions. Chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, chronic stress and much more can all be improved by simply getting the right form of exercise – no prescription pills or potions needed.
The body was built to move and just like a metal machine, if you do not use it, it will seize up. Now the real question is what is the right “prescription” for exercise? Well, the answer is actually simple: just start doing more today than you did yesterday. Walk more, get outside, go for a swim, ride a bike, take the stairs, stand instead of sit. That is a good start if you’re not even doing that. The key here is consistent progression towards more advanced movements like resistance training (lifting weights) and maybe even sprinting up a hill… yes that might sound advanced by you should always set your sights high to aim at.
Once you have established a basic routine of exercise, the next step is to seek out a great trainer or coach to help guide you. In my opinion, your trainer should be ahead of your doctor on your speed dial because they are going to be a bigger part of your long-term health. How many times have you gone to the doctor, and they genuinely asked you how your day was? Or what’s going on in your life that could be causing some of the issues you are dealing with? Most doctors are just rushing you out the door with some sort of impersonal pharmaceutical “prescription” so they can get the next patient in. How can you expect to improve your health when really, you are not doing much work on yourself or having anyone else committed by your side to help you? The right trainer will be there by your side weekly, asking how you are doing, helping guide you and taking the time to really invest in your health. The personal trainer is arguably the most underrated health professional in the world.
I have seen so many people over the years who have believed that just getting a gym membership and going in a few days a week will be enough. In reality, they end up going in now and then (or not at all) and when they do, they completely waste their time “experimenting” on every machine they see in the gym. No plan, no focus, and no idea of what they are doing. Can you guess what kind of results they get? If guessed NONE then you guessed correct. Now you do not need to hire a super high-level strength and conditioning coach to get results. Start with a basic experienced personal trainer who has worked with many clients at your level.
Hiring a good trainer will help teach you how to do the movements properly, create a plan for you and make you accountable for showing up! Once you get going with the basics, the overall goal in my professional opinion will be to increase your strength and mobility as much as possible. Increased strength has been shown to improve and prolong the quality of life. The stronger you are the more balance, coordination and confidence you will have and you cannot put a price tag on that. And of course, increasing your cardiovascular health is important as well so don’t skip out on that heart raising fun stuff – but there’s no need to be doing any crazy, excessive intensity style workouts to get great results.
After over 15 years of coaching and training elite world-class athletes I have seen the amazing benefits that working out can do for immediate and long-term health and wellness. A strong body is often a healthy body because when people invest time into moving and working out, magically most of them seem to start paying more attention to the foods they are putting in their body and hopefully the quality of water they are drinking. Do not over think it, just start by moving the needle forward an inch by doing more today than yesterday because any progression is positive.