Don’t Stop Now Fitter, Faster, Better in 2017
Your New Year’s resolution is making you feel like a failure. You’ve been faithfully exercising four times a week that’s HUGE and now, three weeks in, you have nothing to show for it. It’s just not getting any easier. No wonder your resolve is waning and you’re inclined to hit the snooze button.
As therapists, we’ve all heard people say that yes, they are doing their exercises, but those exercises aren’t making one bit of difference. Jogging never gets easier or the shoulder exercises are a waste of time.
There’s a name for individuals like this: nonresponders people who show no improvement after weeks of training. Years back, we didn’t know how to fix the problem; we just knew there was a problem. Now we have some insights that will help.
Studies demonstrate that with any
exercise, there’s enormous variation in
individual responses. Some folks
show little improvement, while others
get stronger and fitter with relative
ease. However, even those who show
no gains from low intensity exercise will
get stronger and more fit if they push
harder. *Mayo Clinic proceedings Nov 2015.
Guess what . . . you’re not
Why can more intense exercise make such a difference, even with nonresponders?
It has to do with who’s in charge and, as it turns out, who’s in charge might surprise you!
We’ve always thought that our muscles got tired and felt weak when we ran out of oxygen or fuel which caused toxic byproducts to accumulate forcing us to stop moving. And if you’ve seen any movie about Everest climbs, that’s exactly how it seems. Climbers are exhausted and each step is a supreme effort. But study after study shows normal oxygen levels in climbers until they reach an altitude of 23,300 feet. Lactic acid levels are normal too. What could be happening?
Something else stops you, and it’s your brain. Even if muscle fuel (glycogen and ATP) diminishes with exercise, the fuel tank doesn’t run out. Instead, your brain acts to protect your body from over exertion, and it errs on the side of caution. Fatigue is a sensation or emotion the brain uses to protect you. So while your body feels like you can’t go another step or complete another rep, it’s your brain making that decision.
One way to help your brain adjust to higher exertion levels is through interval training. When you exercise at high intensity for short bursts, the brain stops sending alarm signals. It no longer diverts blood from working muscles and it gives you less of an emotional response to exertion. Gradually, you start to get used to a harder work out. That’s called a training response.
We’ll go out on a limb and say there is no such thing as a true non responder. But if you feel like every exercise aspiration ends in defeat, let’s talk. A number of things could get in the way of your success: how you train, your posture, even your breathing. Make a PT appointment today. 2017 could be the start of something good.
Our Learning Benfits You
Jonathan recently took another course in visceral
mobilization, the manual treatment of organ
dysfunction. This course focused on treatment of
the ligaments and organs of the pelvis as they
relate to pelvic and lower back issues. The
function of the pelvis and all of the structures
associated with it are vital to promote healthy
motion everywhere in the body. If you’ve had any
bowel obstructions or abdominal surgeries, call to
schedule with Jonathan.