In Pain? Lift Weights!
Politician Joan Welsh said it best, "“A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs.” Today it's easy for us to take care of our aches and pains with things such as over-the-counter medications. We search for quick fixes. Something to mask the pain for the time being until we re-aggravate or the pain medications wear off. Why do we do that? I've said this before, we've become a "quick fix" society. We don't want to wait for anything. We don't want to take the time to fix injuries or reoccurring pains so they're gone for good. Now, I'm not stupid; some things require surgery or other types of acute care. I'm not talking about those. I'm talking about your day-to-day aches and pains. Neck, back, legs, arms, etc. You want these pains to subside? Lift Weights!
A Harvard Medical School publication in 2016 stated that after the age of 30 we lose as much as 3%-5% of muscle every 10 years. More as you get older! Now, this is age related muscle loss or sarcopenia. We all will get it, and the more you sit on the couch and not move, it happens at a more rapid pace. The study went on to say that less muscle means, of course, greater weakness and less mobility. This adds to a greater risk of falls and fractures. Does this mean an 80 year old woman who has been sedentary for 20 years should now get underneath the squat rack and rep out 50 reps of 200 lbs?? Of course not, but why can't she pick up a couple of canned goods and curl them as she is sitting on the couch? Why can't she stay seated and do some slight leg lifts off the ground (2-3 inches off the ground would do). If she does this consistently, would that help her or hurt her? It would help her. It would create lean muscle tissue (that she can still build even at 80 years old) and would help her become more stable and strong. Now, I use this 80-year old woman as an example, but any one of us can be inserted into this scenario. If you feel pain you can fix it. Just lift. Lifting also means resistance training. So bands, tubes, weights would all work. Just know what you're doing and be consistent at it.
Weight training can prevent osteoporosis. With resistance training, you can consistently increase bone density (stronger bones). Also, with an increase in lean muscle tissue you can help shed some pounds (fat) which can and will help alleviate pain through out the body. Just imagine if you didn't have those nagging lower back pains, shoulder issues, aches in the legs, and neck. What if you didn't have those anymore, and didn't have to use any type of medication to "fix" the issue. This really can be done. I'm not saying you start lifting and magically everything is better, but being consistent and implementing it as a lifestyle will surely rid yourself of those annoyances.
So, start now. Even if it's just body-weight movements. Do something. Since we started with a quote, let's end with a quote from Jack LaLanne, "Your health account, your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out. Exercise is king and nutrition is queen. Together you have a kingdom."