Exercise: The One Time in Your Life When Stress is Healthy for Your Body
Some people love fitness and activity … and others do not. If you find yourself in the latter group, MMT’s Dr. Jeffrey Sergent offers up a compelling reason to get active.
“Exercise and movement is something that’s really important to keep your body healthy,” he says. “It’s really a use-it-or-lose-it proposition for your body.”
For those who are not familiar with fitness or working out regularly, starting on a fitness program can seem daunting. There is an interesting paradigm involved in improving your fitness.
“Your body actually needs to be be stressed to get stronger,” he says. “When you do weight bearing exercise, for example, you are stressing your muscles through little microtears. As the muscles rebuild themselves, you get stronger.”
The same thing happens to your bones, which is actually known as Wolff’s Law. During the 19th century, a German anatomist and surgeon Julius Wolff realized that a healthy person’s bones will adapt to the loads (or stress) under which it is placed. Over time, our bones remodel themselves, and become stronger in response.
“This is why good movement and weight bearing exercise is so important, particularly as we age,” he says. “You want to put some sort of healthy stress on your bones and muscles to develop and maintain that strength.”
Failure to engage our bodies in this type of physical activity doesn’t just lead to weakness, it also decreases our mobility, leading to stiffness and decreased range of motion.
“Even getting into a movement program can be a good place to start, and we can do movement screens to see what areas we should focus on,” he says.
Dr. Sergent also notes that exercise and movement programming should never be a one-size-fits all approach.
“Every body is different,” he says. “For example, if you watch a golf tournament, there is not just one good golf swing – the pros all have adapted their swing to their own body. Not everyone can squat in the same way either.”
MMT’s approach, which focuses on Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), helps clients learn what areas of their body may need a little extra attention. An individualized program of movement and exercise is a great place to start