Achieve Your Goals

by Paula Allia PT, DHSc, MTC, OCS

It’s time to get moving. Exercise needs to be a part of everyone’s life. It is such a relative term and this needs to be a consideration when getting yourself to MOVE.

From a child learning to jump and play to an athlete who pushes their body, and even still to the older person who is just trying to keep up with activities of daily living. All are pertinent to health and well-being.

The important consideration to each category is exercising within your ability and to progress as your body tolerates. This is the ideal for improving your own personal situations to reach goals set.

There are many areas in health that we can address to enhance our functional movement. Strength is pertinent to be able to perform many activities. One takes these things for granted however if there is an injury it becomes evident that there is a deficit. All of a sudden there is something that cannot be done because strength is compromised. If you think a muscle is injured, this is the common thought. If there is pain with active motion but not the passive motion of that same movement chances are muscle is indeed involved. If there is no strength but actively a motion is unable to be performed, the muscle may actually be ruptured from its attachment to the bone.

If there is pain and some strength deficit with applying resistance to the motion, the muscle might be partially torn. If there is no pain and you can lift in full motion but not lift something more heavy, working on strengthening would be beneficial.

Finding the right balance of strength, endurance, and flexibility is something all should try to achieve. Know your limits. Engage the muscle and over time add more weight to the motion in order to gain strength.

Exercising in proper form will help execute successful training of the muscle without injury. Form is key to follow and is based on biomechanics. If poor mechanics are used while strength training, abnormal wear can possibly cause an injury. We do not always function in good positions but strengthening this way can maximize strength when done correctly.

Endurance exercises are exercises that can be done to sustain exercise for a period of time. It certainly involves more aerobic exercise. More repetitions are used than in strength training. In regards to weights, strength training uses higher weight and less reps while endurance training uses a lower weight and more reps.

If doing cardiovascular training, the level of resistance or the speed are altered between the two.

Overall, all of the training is important and engaging in a daily routine or at the very minimum training three times a week in some form of exercise is ideal. Overtraining at a high level for too long can actually break the body down depending upon the level that a person is at.

Flexibility is a component of the health of muscles and joints. The ideal amount of flexibility is when the muscles allow full range of motion in the joint. Then there is something called joint play which allows a little overpressure. This joint play or end feel that is present can help to know what is safe without potential to cause injury. If muscle is tight or a joint is stiff and it suddenly gets overstretched, injury can occur and even disrupt the health of the muscle or joint.

Overall, work on strength and flexibility in order to participate in the activities that you desire. Be smart with techniques used and work with proper biomechanics in mind to preserve the body. Train in good form. Maximize potential. Be smart and if you need help to know just what to do, seek the professionals that specialize in helping you be the best you can be.

To your health!

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