My interest in understanding how the human body moves and functions inspired me to pursue a career in medicine. Through my many years of schooling and medical practice, I remain fascinated by how complex, yet effective, the human body is. I have also had an extensive interest in athletics and fitness throughout my life. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle has always been a personal and professional commitment of mine.
Now that I have crossed the half century mark in age…
I am a living example that life is a degenerative process. The aches and pains associated have caused me to reemphasize my focus on motion and flexibility. For years, I have performed exercise programs consisting of swimming, jogging, lifting weights, simple stretching, and core strengthening. In spite of a weekly commitment to these programs, I have lost mobility in joints and suffered from increasing aches and pains. This downward progression has significantly frustrated and caused me to reassess my workout routine and search for alternate methods to positively improve a stagnated program.
This is nothing like I have done before…
The search for the ultimate workout ended two months ago when I joined a group boot camp. Under the guidance of our trainer, a group of eight of us strives to restore our youthful function. Two days a week, for one hour, we are committed to a very intense exercise program that stresses our muscles and flexibility. Each session brings some new twist or variation which keeps me on my toes. The fun part is that we are performing simple exercises we learned as children but have long since forgotten; Picture commando crawls, band exercises, ball exercises, kicking exercises, jumping activities, hurdling activities, shuttle runs, etc.
I am happy to report that while I have had many new muscle pains, my aches of aging are disappearing and my flexibility is improving. Just two months into the program, I feel many times better.
Most of my patients ask, “What should I do to protect my spine?”
If you do not have formal guidance from a therapist, the ideal combination is Pilates to build strength and yoga for flexibility. This, in essence, is what we are doing in our boot camp in addition to aerobic conditioning. It is my professional belief that we need to keep strengthening muscles and moving joints to optimize function and condition. For years I have explained to my patients that when one is young, they can play sports for exercise. As we age, we must exercise so that we can play sports, as well as carry out our daily activities and occupations.
Find the workout that works for you.
If you feel stagnated in your workout, change and variety are good. Exercising with a group of friends or a trainer can push you to a level that is difficult to realize on your own. Varying your routines is essential to preventing loss of progress or stagnation due to over-training individual muscle groups.
Washingtonian Magazine’s December 2011 issue features an article entitled, “Workouts that Really Work.” This article highlights various examples of this concept, including working on jumping and climbing, pole dancing, cross fit competitive lifting, punching, and swinging kettle bells. All of these sample workouts are excellent combinations, which my boot camp combines for a holistic approach. The boot camp concept amounts to a forced muscle confusion program which does wonders for overall endurance, vitality, and well being.
There is still more to conquer and clearly aging will continue, but at least I am in a better spirit and physical shape as I move forward for the next half of a century. I will keep you informed of my progress with additional blog updates in regard to this workout routine, my thoughts, my progress, and my experience.
Best wishes in your continued voyage for optimizing your health. Which workouts really work for you?
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