Here’s a fun tidbit I hear OFTEN second hand from clients after their friends/family/peers find out what their training and therapy plans consist of…
“At your age, should you really be lifting weights?”
“Isn’t weight training dangerous for your joints? Does that really help you feel better?”
“Aren’t you worried about getting injured again?”
“I heard that weight training is bad for you- doesn’t it cause arthritis”
First off.. I’m honestly not sure where people are finding that last bit of information from, at this point in our history. Secondly I’m also endlessly grateful that I’ve stopped frequently hearing that weight training will make women bulky- at last that myth has been put out of it’s misery. Third off- weight training is highly effective for arthritis rehabilitation and management- WHEN IT IS DONE CORRECTLY. The only time it’s going to cause arthritis is if you don’t do it in good form. This is why having the guidance of a trained professional is imperative when starting any new program. At the very least get a movement assessment and see where you need to work!
Would I tell someone of ANY age to just go and start lifting weights (no matter how much)? NOPE.
Do I prescribe and coach programs for ALL ages (yes, all the way up to 90-somethings- seriously) that involve various amounts of loaded movements, functional movements, dynamic movements, and stability training? You bet I do!
Here’s the neat things about the body.. it works on an adaptation based system. Which means- invariably- to IMPROVE our systems we have to STRESS our systems.
Here’s the feedback I get from my dedicated clients:
“I don’t wake up at 3am anymore with back pain”
“I sleep through the night and don’t wake up stiff in the mornings anymore”
“I don’t get tired during the day”
“My joints aren’t bugging me as much since I started training”
“I’m making healthier choices elsewhere in my life since starting this training routine.”
“I FEEL GOOD”
When we apply GOOD, healthy stress to our system- things change for the better. We also develop a higher tolerance for negative stressors, which means we function just overall more kick ass.
It no longer new information that the mind and the body are one coordinating unit.
Exercise, movement- of any kind- is the BEST and most EFFECTIVE medicine. The stats support it. Check these out.
According to the Conference Board of Canada, if we were to decrease the number of inactive Canadians by even 10%, we’d see a 30% reduction in all-cause mortality and major savings in health care. It is in fact estimated that more than $2.4 billion, or 3.7 per cent of all healthcare costs, were attributed to the direct cost of treating illness and disease due to physical inactivity1. The financial impact of poor health amounts to a loss of more than $4.3 billion to the Canadian economy, and the negative repercussions of inactivity cost the healthcare system $89 billion per year in Canada2. According to several studies, properly structured and supported exercise program, designed and delivered by a kinesiologist can, among other benefits:
- Reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease by 40%;
- Reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 50% and be twice as effective as standard insulin in treating the condition;
- Help the function of muscles for people affected by Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis;
- Decrease depression as effectively as pharmacological or behavioural therapy;5
- Reduce the risk of stroke by 27%;
- Reduce the risk of colon cancer by 60%;
- Reduce mortality and risk of recurrent cancer by 50%;
(Based on year 2009. Jansen et al., 2012 2 Based on year 2013. 3 Cardiorespiratory fitness is an independent predictor of hypertension incidence among initially normotensive healthy women.
Barlow CE et al. Am J Epidemiol 2006; 163:142-50. 4 Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. DPP Research Group. New England Journal of Medicine 2002; 346:393-403. 5 Exercise treatment for depression: efficacy and dose response.
Dunn A et al. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 2005. 6 Physical activity and colon cancer: confounding or interaction? Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
June 2002 – Volume 34 – Issue 6 – pp 913-919)
Weight training- when done intelligently for each individual- is just as effective as other types of exercise in improving health. It has it’s own set of extra benefits and of course risk factors. Just like that Tylenol you like to pop for your back pain.
There is no one way to utilize the benefits of movement. Some people to pick things up and put them down.. others like to yoga.. some like to do step classes, and others just like to go for regular walks and stretch. IT’S ALL GOOD.
The biggest emphasis I am trying to make is that adding weight to your routine when you’re doing it correctly for YOUR SYSTEM (this is where the help of a trained professional often comes in), you’re looking at more resilience throughout your body and mind.
Don’t knock it til you try it 😉
(With the correct prescription and educated advice, of course!)