Is Your Exercise is Over the Top

“Regular strength training can mean the difference between spending your last years in a nursing  home and spending them traveling, enjoying your family and doing recreational pursuits.” Dr. Karl Knoff, 

If you ask me AGING is a 4-letter word. It is a vile expression associated with the process of living longer. It has become an excuse for aches and pains, forgetfulness and weight gain. There can be an explanation for these changes in our bodies. If we’re honest with ourselves we try to do things our bodies can no longer do, and we eat and sit around more. In addition, we’ve been collecting information, both useless and useful, for 50-60 some years. We’re bound to forget something. Why beat ourselves up? The process is happening regardless, but exercise can help.

Activity is the key to longevity, but we don’t need to do the activity of a 20, 30 or 40-year-old. Everyone makes the same mistakes and tries to do too much exercise often resulting in injury. So, how much is too much exercise?

The first measuring rod is to see how you schedule your time. If you organize your life around your exercise RATHER than organizing your exercise around your life you can pretty much bet you are in the obsessive category. One way to get an idea if you might seriously consider your compulsion to exercise is to take the Exercise Addiction Inventory, developed by British sports medicine experts Annabel Terry, Attila Szabo and Mark Griffiths. On a scale of 1 – 5, with disagree at the 1 end and agree at the 5, answer the following questions.

1. Exercise is the most important thing in my life.

2. Conflicts have arisen between me and my family and/or my partner about the amount of exercise I do.

3. I use exercise as a way of changing my mood (e.g. to get a buzz, to escape, feel different etc.)

4. Over time I have increased the amount of exercise I do in a day.

5. If I have to miss an exercise session I feel moody and irritable.

6. If I cut down the amount of exercise I do, and then start again, I always end up exercising as often as I did before.

The full analysis and their report can be found online. The study shows that the responses to these questions can distinguish between exercise addiction and commitment. After answering these questions where do you place yourself?

Is exercise an all or nothing thing with you? Do you try to exercise as you did when you were younger? This mindset leads to injury and pain. Remember the rule of thumb that exercising is a means to living longer. Injuring yourself in the meantime certainly isn’t going to bring you closer to happier ever after.

Remember Dr. Knoff said strength training!!! He’s a man after my heart. Be kind to yourself. This world can be harsh enough.

Be Well!

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