A Position of Strength

Join the resistance.

It’s 5:30 am. The door to the 24 hour access gym buzzes, then clicks to open for the harried housewife, mother, student, secretary, dog groomer or real estate agent sans make-up. Upon entering, they inevitably turn left. Always. Left is where the aerobic section lay in wait.

The endless assortment of treadmills, bicycles, ellipticals and rowing machines line up against the wall with the usual barrage of TV screens facing down on them.

The routine is the usual steady state, punch it in, check e-mail, text the babysitter, remind the husband and chat up your neighbor on the next contraption. Same thing, different day.

The male, “doctor’s orders” group follows almost the same ritual. Get on, do thirty, grab the crossword at the front desk and tell your wife about the 90 minutes you spent at the gym. I see it all the time.

Enter the resistance. What these folks are leaving on the table is the resistance training that will strengthen their bones and ligaments and save them from a life time of pain and possible infirmity.

Resistance grows bone. Period. A huge factor in preventing osteoporosis and bone loss. Use it or lose it applies here. You need to strengthen more than your resolve.

At my perch in front of the Ayer Town Hall, I see folks who can’t be more than 50, being helped into cars, taking a full five minutes to cross the street, having difficulty getting up the Town Hall stairs and even trying to open a door while maintaining a walker. Sad.

You see people waving to someone and when the hand stops moving, the back of the arm is still going. “The wave” is every where. Hard to watch.

You just have to weight.

The takeaway here is, if you are going to make the effort to get to a gym or follow an exercise plan, don’t leave the most critical component to your overall health on the table. Your body needs that resistance or else you wouldn’t have been born with all that muscle and bone.

We think we can flop around for a half hour on some Life Fitness machine and meet all the requirements of our owner’s manual but it doesn’t work that way.

Feet, don’t fail me now.

While ellipticals and stationary bikes provide cardiorespiratory benefit, your feet still need weight bearing exercises to resist the ground in the form of walking, climbing stairs, group aerobics, running or jogging.

If you are retired, or heading that way, I’m betting you don’t want to get into that doctor-hospital-home loop so many of today’s seniors are stuck in. It’s not what you signed up for.

A generation ago,  this would be a reality and greeted with acceptance. Not so, today. Resist ye, at all costs. 🙂

Come from a position of strength. Always.

Bob O’Hearn


Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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