Don’t be afraid of the Gym!

I was talking to my sister this morning asking about the yard work she was doing. She told me that she shoveled some gravel, that is was heavy and her biceps are sore today. She also shoveled today and helped a neighbor who has a ‘bad back’. My sister has an active job, lifts lighter weights at home and walks a lot. She expressed concern a few weeks ago about going to the gym and hurting herself.

I want her to go to the gym because I think there are some machines that can be helpful and it’ll be easier to progressively overload certain movements.

Uh, if you can shovel heavy gravel and be fine, you’ll be fine at the gym. I pointed this out to her today and she replied that she lifted weights this morning, shoveled, walked, and got all the Christmas stuff out of the attic. Yeah, I think she’ll be fine,

I’ve had a few people express this concern lately. I’m not sure where this comes from but it is definitely an outdate view. Are there risks? Of course, but there are risks with almost anything we do and with strength training, the benefits far outweighs the risks.

The most common way someone is injured in the weight room is by dropping a weight themselves so . . .
Don’t do that. The next are sprains and strains which are generally mild and heal quickly on their own.

The injury rates from various strength sports are relatively low especially when considering these are for competitive sports where pushing through injury and pain can be more common. For the general population engaging in progressive strength training 2-3x/week for 30 min, the risk would be even lower.

The easiest way to reduce the risk of injury when strength training is to not do too much too soon. Slow and steady wins the race. Will there be aches and pains a long the way? Yes, but these will temporary and are a part of life and will be overcome easily.

So the choice is yours: Do you want to be weak, lose muscle and bone mass and your independence, suffer sarcopenia and related diseases or do you want to be strong, independent and lower your changes of age related diseases with minor risks of discomfort? I know which I’ll choose. Which one will you choose?

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