By Charlie Rowe CMSS, CSCS, ACSM CEP, Jason Weitzner CMSS, ACE CMES, Greg Mack CMSS, ACE CMES
How do you feel about exercise?
Is it a necessary evil?
A consuming passion?
Something you have to do so that you can eat what you want?
What box do you put exercise in?
Or do you feel like Mark Twain;
“Whenever I get the urge to exercise, I lie down
until the feeling passes away.”
Or like this unknown author;
“I wish I loved exercise as much as I love drinking
wine and eating everything”
While exercise is gaining recognition for its role in
supporting disease management and prevention, unfortunately, exercise is still
primarily associated with weight-loss, bodybuilding, and sports
performance. This is an unfortunately small box for exercise to occupy.
There is so much more exercise can do for improving our
lives that have nothing to do with weight-loss and sports.
So, we need a bigger box.
Here are some more things to put in the exercise box:
Improving mood and anxiety
Improving hormonal balance
Maintaining a high quality of life
Reducing, and possibly even removing, unwanted
musculoskeletal sensations (like pain and discomfort)
Wait a minute… what?
I thought exercise caused pain?
If done improperly it can cause pain. (In fact, that’s the dirty little secret of
the exercise world – that this exercise thing people are doing to get and stay
healthy is actually causing ill health and disease (orthopedic disease to be
properly targeted, applied, and dosed exercise can help contribute to the
attenuation of musculoskeletal pain and discomfort.
It’s an untapped aspect of exercise and with the overdosing of Americans on opioids
and unnecessary surgeries the time has come for folks to became familiar with
exercise’s role in pain and discomfort.
How can exercise have such a profound role on how people feel? How can
exercise be an answer for people that couldn’t find solutions from the more
common interventions like pain medication, injections, physical therapy,
stretching, or massage?
How can the thing that so many people don’t like, and perhaps the thing that so
many can’t do BECAUSE of their pain, be the answer?
The answer lies in the relationship it has with the control of movement and the
human nervous system.
Check this out.
To exercise is to control bodily motion and position. To physically
stimulate your body in order to make some change in it. While most people
think they can’t move because they are in pain, we flip the script. As a
Certified Muscle System Specialist, I propose that you may be hurting because
you don’t move well. That begs the question, “what is responsible for us
controlling our bodies?” The only thing that can move you is your muscles.
So, it’s the muscles I am concerned with. More specifically, the muscle
system in its entirety. The higher the quality of your muscle system, the
better you move, the better you feel. The way to improve the muscle
system’s quality is via exercise – putting forces on the body. Exercise’s
usefulness in contributing to the removal of pain lies in the details.
The amount and duration of force, the positions the person is in while
receiving the force, the direction and speed they are moving, all contribute to
the precise dose of interaction (exercise) the person receives. When the
position, motion, and dose is right, the body responds by restoring muscle
system quality. This means that the stuff that moves you – muscle – works
better, so you move better and ultimately feel better.