My client’s husband, let’s call him George, has a challenging back—he has a few herniated discs. To keep his back in check, George exercises regularly. He has a home gym with everything he needs, and has figured out a therapeutic exercise regime to stay healthy. My client says that his form, when exercising, is exemplary.

George never endures injuries while exercising. However, when he steps out of his home gym, he runs into problems. Often, when he bends over to pull out the weeds from his garden, BOOM, his back goes out. The same thing happens when he’s shoveling snow or moving furniture around his house. In order to prevent this from happening, George should approach these activities just like he does when he’s working out. He needs to consider “weed pulling” an exercise just like a squat, a deadlift or a chest press. If he does this, he will change his form—he will bend less and use his legs more so that he won’t have as many back issues outside of his gym. 

George isn’t alone. Most of us “committed exercisers” rarely get hurt while we are exercising. That’s because we are focused on our body position, engaging our core muscles, and looking in the mirror to make sure we are in proper alignment. Simply put, we are paying close attention. In real life we need to do the same thing. We have to focus on our form when picking up a laundry basket, going down the steps to the basement, or strolling with a friend on a dirt path.

Lately, several of my clients have sustained minor injuries, such as twisted knees, sprained ankles, and fractured elbows, all stemming from a lack of attention. I can tell you with certainty that I’m guilty of this as well. Most of the injuries that I sustain come from when I’m working, NOT when I’m exercising. These minor injuries set us back physically, which then leads to an emotional upheaval.   

PLEASE be careful! Now that the season is changing, it is getting cooler and darker. Soon, we will change the clocks and we will be in even more darkness. We are also still in the throes of a pandemic and immersed in a political quagmire. Given all of these factors, we have to work extremely hard to stay mentally healthy! Since exercise relieves stress, improves sleep, helps reduce depression, and increases our sense of well-being, PLEASE stay as vigilant as possible when you’re not exercising! This way you can keep moving, which will help preserve your sanity.

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