It’s Time to Stop Playing With Pain

tim_croughWritten by Tim Crough, Fitness Entrepreneur | Performance Coach |Wellness Evangelist | Husband/Daddy | Striving for Humility | Ski Bum Wannabe

Preventative health through fitness is a hot topic. The Harvard Medical school says that exercising regularly, every day if possible, is the single most important thing you can do for your health. It does nice things like control appetite, boost mood, and improve sleep.

And it can save your life by reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, depression, and many cancers.

So it’s great news that according to Gallup more Americans are exercising consistently each week, with 55.5% indicating frequent exercise.

Watch retailer TIMEX surveyed more than 1,000 people, finding that 73% of Americans report working out one or more times per week. BUT…

Believe it or not, it’s not all good news. According to stats from the American Academy of Pain Medicine, pain impacts 59% of Americans overall enjoyment of life….with most of our pain being joint pain.  

back painAccording to the CDC and NCHS the prevalence of chronic pain occurs in 4 common places:

Low back (28.1%)
Knee (19.5%)
Neck (15.1%)
Shoulder (9.0%)

The American Chiropractic Association estimates that 31 million Americans will experience low-back pain at any given time. Ouch. So, on one hand, exercising is the single best thing you can do for your health. And on the other hand, more people than ever are exercising…but then why are all of us in so much pain?

Maybe we should consider that there’s something wrong with how we exercise…or better yet how we prepare our bodies to endure exercise.

In a recent study published in the
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, “97 of 132 surveyed (73.5%) CrossFit participants had sustained an injury that had prevented them from working, training or competing.” Of these injuries, nine required surgery.

Quick analogy: Compare the healthy body of a well-balanced exerciser to a skyscraper. They have deep and strong foundations with a complex support structure to ensure stability. Contractors don’t build skyscrapers with a bad foundation so why would we (or an unqualified trainer) begin to build our bodies before we understand how to lay down a proper foundation?  

Unnatural posture and pain go hand in hand. And what most trainers don’t even know is that it surprisingly has a direct connection to how you breathe.

The 3 step solution is easier than you might think:

  1. Stop sitting so much.
  2. Start moving more and in multiple directions.  
  3. Get assessed by a qualified expert before starting a serious exercise program.

It’s all a matter of intelligent training. Soon you’ll make Harvard Medical School look like they know what they’re talking about. 🙂

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