One of the things that drives me insane, with my history, is the excuses I hear from people who tell me that they would hire me, but “I have this pain….”. I know it isn’t their fault–many times it was their physician who implanted these ideas in their brains–but if I have one more person tell me that they CAN’T exercise because they have (fill in the blank–knee-ankle-shoulder-back) issues, I will scream.
The fact is, that unless you are so disabled that you can’t move at all, you can make it better. The people who have told me this are not disabled–they are generally perfectly normal, most with lower back pain caused by what I call “Cubicle Syndrome.” This is the typical 21st century posture–hunched over in front of the TV, the computer, the video games, the steering wheel……
As a Functional Movement Specialist who was once obese with multiple issues in my back (scoliosis, lower back pain, neck pain) and hips (during my second pregnancy I had to use a wheelchair for walking more than about 20 feet)I am here to say to you today that you CAN improve your physical condition, in fact you will feel so much better if you just get your body moving. When I was sedentary, I was depressed, got sick constantly, and had pain in various places in my body; no energy…it was no way to live. Now, in my late 40′s, I feel better than I have since I was a teenager–and it is because I got moving.
The human body was made to move. Many of the problems that people have stem back to simple physical inactivity–problems as diverse as mood disorders and immune issues are inextricably linked to the lack of movement. Gray Cook, famed Physical Therapist and co-founder of the Functional Movement Screen– says that the United States population doesn’t have an obesity epidemic so much as an epidemic of poor movement–and our computer bound, video game playing, sitting-on-yer butt culture isn’t making it better.
Today I want to say this: Just move your body. There’s no excuse now, if you have access to the internet or to Amazon.com, or even a library–it’s not like 20 years ago when the fitness gospel got you on machines and the treadmill to no where. There are amazing programs out there, cutting edge fitness that can get you in shape in no time–if your problems are as simple as low back pain or minor issues. See my list of resources for ideas–Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove’s New Rules series was my bible in the beginning–there’s a book to fit anyone’s taste.
I’m not suggesting that people with serious issues begin a random program. Go to your physician. Get Physical Therapy if necessary; find a Functional Movement Specialist or other enlightened fitness professional, whatever it takes to get your body moving safely. But move it. I promise that you will feel better, and you may find, as I and my clients have, that all the little aches and pains and things that make us miserable are miraculously gone. And what space that opens for living!
Material from (27 May 2011): No matter where you are, it can get better « The Miracle of Fitness.