Only One Body

( the following is reprinted. I’m not sure where I printed it or, if I ever did)

Imagine you are sixteen years old and your parents give you your first car. They also give you simple instructions. There is one small hitch, you only get one car, you can never get another. Never. No trade-ins, no trade-ups. Nothing

Ask your self how would you maintain that car? My guess is you would be meticulous. Frequent oil changes, proper fuel, etc. Now imagine if your parents also told you that none of the replacement parts for this car would ever work as well as the original parts. Not only that, the replacement parts would be expensive to install and cause you to have decreased use of your car for the rest of the cars useful life? In other words, the car would continue to run but, not at the same speed and with the efficiency you were used to.

Wow, now would we ever put a lot of time and effort into maintenance if that were the case.

After reading the above example ask yourself another question. Why is the human body different? Why do we act as if we don’t care about the one body we were given. Same deal. You only get one body. No returns or trade-ins. Sure, we can replace parts but boy it’s a lot of work and it hurts. Besides, the stuff they put in never works as well as the original “factory” parts. The replacement knee or hip doesn’t give you the same feel and performance as the original part.

Think about it. One body. You determine the mileage? You set the maintenance plan?

No refunds, no warranties, no do-overs?

How about this perspective? One of my clients is a very successful businessman. He often is asked to speak to various groups. One thing he tells every group is that you are going to spend time and money on your health. The truth is the process can be a proactive one or a reactive one. Money spent on your health can take the form of a personal trainer, massage therapist and a gym membership or, it can be money spent on cardiologists, anesthesiologists, and plastic surgeons. Either way, you will spend money.

Same goes for time. You can go to the gym or, to the doctors office. It’s up to you. Either way, you will spend time. Some people say things like “I hate to work out”. Try sitting in the emergency room for a few hours and then get back to me. Working out may not seem so bad. Much like a car, a little preventative maintenance can go a long way. However, in so many ways the body is better than a car. With some good hard work you can turn back the odometer on the body. I wrote an article a while back ( Strength Training- The Fountain of Youth) that discussed a study done by McMaster University which showed that muscle tissue of older subjects actually changed at the cellular level and looked more like the younger control subjects after strength training.

Do me a favor, spend some time on preventative maintenance, it beats the heck out of the alternative. Just remember, you will spend both time and money.

74 Responses to “Only One Body”

  1. […] Pain is not some obstacle to be fought against. It is a beautiful signal of something going wrong. Don’t ignore it, embrace it. It is the check engine light that comes on before your ACL explodes, I mean, car dies. Your body will do whatever you want it to as long as you move correctly. (Here is a GREAT read on treating your body right – click here). […]

  2. […] Health is my number one goal before all other things. I take many things in moderation, because moderation tends to be a healthier route, on (just about) all aspects of life. I am a Corrective Exercise Specialist, I consult others on Injury Prevention and Biomechanics. This is a passion of mine. I’ve spent a lot of time studying the mechanics of the human body, within the realm of fitness and movement. I have worked with a lot of different injuries, and have helped many people not only recover from an injury, but also reduce their likelihood of re-injury by correcting broken movement patterns and muscular/structural imbalances. When people consult me on their injuries, you find a trend with childhood/early adulthood overuse, to long term wear and tear, and inevitably joint pain from athritis or others disabling causes. Long term joint pain does not fit into the equation of ‘healthy’. Joint health aside, studyies show that chronic inflammation can lead to cancer [1]. It’s funny to hear a Crossfitter discourage long distance running, while promoting chronic inflammation in the form of over training and high injury rates. I’ve even heard of Crossfit coaches claiming that having an active lifestyle is bullshit, and that training high intense with Crossfit is better for you(don’t be fooled by self promotion). It’s not. Moderation and an active lifestyle is far greater for you than one hour a day of high intense exercise while the rest of the day is sat down on your ass[2]. This is what we call the ‘Active Coach Potato’ [3]. If you are looking at exercise and fitness for durability and longevity, then think of the body as a car. You only have one car, you can beat on it, skip oil changes, and drive it into the ground. If you do so, you’ll need replacement parts, and those parts are never as good as the original, and don’t come without the headaches (pain, disappointment, etc). [4] […]

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