After twenty years in the business, I have heard so many extreme views about different fitness trends, that I know better than to panic about any one of them.
“Don’t ever jump or lift both feet off of the ground! You will hurt your joints.”
“Don’t ever do the Plow yoga pose! It killed a lady once.”
“Don’t ever do sit-ups or full sit-ups! It will hurt your back.”
“Don’t lift 10 lb free weights or you will look like a body builder.”
“Don’t exercise in bare feet, you will hurt yourself!
I could go on and on…
The truth is all of the above items are accurate to a point, and that point depends on the individual performing the exercise. Perhaps you have been told by your physiotherapist to follow some of the above guidelines and in that case, I suggest you listen because the advice is tailored to your particular health situation. However many people like to take snip-its of information and apply it to themselves without reason. And that is where we can get into problems.
One size does not fit all when it comes to most areas in life and this includes fitness, so while I always listen to what the ‘experts’ are saying, I do my best to stay away from extremes because this is usually associated with panic. People don’t want to experience pain or injury, so it is normal to follow the herd but I challenge you to always ask yourself “why?” Do your homework instead of listening to rhetoric.
As a trainer of teachers, I tell my students to evaluate the risk versus the benefit when they are designing their programs. So when it comes to group exercise, teachers want to stay on the safe side of the equation and not put people’s health in jeopardy. That being said, if the teacher is hired to teach a group of elite athletes or sport enthusiasts to improve their performance, they might determine that certain exercises that are considered risky are exactly the right ones for their class.
We want easy fixes and solutions. “I will be fine and get exactly what I am looking for if I never do w or x and always do y and z!”
If you have been following my blog over the last five years, I have reminded you that the only constant is change and the best kind of exercise is the one that is varied. Doing the exact same exercises for years is not necessarily safer because of overuse injuries and the potential for muscular imbalances to occur. Variety is the spice and key to life!
When you hear extreme fitness advice, do your homework. Look for the source, listen to the experts and then decide what is right for you based on your health situation which might mean seeking the advice of a qualified trainer.
Above all don’t panic!
See you soon,