Getting old isn’t for the weak

Apparently, the day you turn 40 you’re going to begin to experience all sorts of muscle and joint pain. At least this is what society has us believe.

I hear this all the time from people who assume their aches and pain are due to aging and because they had a manual job or played sports when they were younger.

There are extremes where this can be true but for most of us, using our bodies from a young age for sports or for work is no guarantee that you’ll experience pain when older. Neither is your age. For example, back pain decreases as we age despite various changes on imaging increasing that people think cause back pain. The only given that you’ll experience pain is that you are a human that is alive.

I had a client tell me he stopped running when he was younger because he was concerned about knee arthritis when he was older. Research has shown that recreational running is actually protective against knee arthritis. There is an increase at the elite level but elite sports aren’t done for health purposes.

Maybe we experience more pain as we age because we expect too. Maybe it’s because we become more sedentary and out of shape/unhealthy, more stressed, less sleep, poor diet etc. Then we realize we don’t want to be this way so we jump into an exercise program that we were capable of in our 20s, only to do too much too soon and sustain an injury. If we progressed into it slowly, the likelihood of injury and pain would be greatly reduced.

Our bodies are meant to move and sustain load. How do I know this? Bones become stronger when exposed to progressive loads. Muscles get bigger and stronger when exposed to load as do their tendons. The cardiovascular system function improves when exposed to aerobic loads. Our joints are healthier and less likely to experience adverse changes when exposed to load.

You know what increases the likelihood of disease, inflammation, joint changes, weaker bones and muscles? Being sedentary. NOT moving.

Aerobic exercise and strength training improve every aspect of the human body and mind. Be afraid of not moving. That’s where the danger is. Movement is medicine so take your medicine daily.

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