Exercise is Not a Panacea
Posted November 29, 2023 by Matthew Romans
Exercise can do a great many things for you, if you put in the effort. The Total Results exercise philosophy is based upon the classic sciences of biology, chemistry, physics, and principles of motor learning, and it has been greatly successful over the past 22 years in helping people to become stronger, fitter, better conditioned, and more resistant to injury in less than one hour per week. Exercise has limits, however. It cannot make up for bad personal habits, lack of dedication, or a poor mental attitude. In spite of what we might be led to believe, exercise cannot fix everything.
People experience low back pain for a variety of reasons: genetic structure, too much sitting, injuries, poor habits, poor diet, and weak back musculature as a result of insufficient exercise. Low back pain is still the number one cause of missed days at work, even with standing desks, ergonomically designed chairs, and expensive mattresses. Perhaps a low back problem may be the result of a car accident. It's unfortunate that bad things that are outside of their control happen to good people, but that's life. For someone in that situation that is considering having back surgery, I would advise them to think very carefully before proceeding. Surgery is not guaranteed to work, and the rehabilitation process can be lengthy. Exhaust all other possibilities before scheduling yourself for surgery. Strengthening the lower back musculature (and in the process reducing compression in the spinal column) with low-force, high-intensity exercise will go quite a way toward regaining mobility, restoring function, and reducing pain, but it is not a panacea.
Aches and pains are a part of growing older, especially if you have been active for much of your life. That is something I've learned from personal experience over the last few years. According to the CDC (take it for what it's worth), over 21 percent of American adults have some form of arthritis. Between the ages of 45 and 65, that number goes up to 26 percent. I suspect those figures are low, as many people have symptoms but either have not reported them or have not been diagnosed. Total Results won't prevent arthritis, but we can make it better. We can help improve your quality of life but some aches and pains as a result of aging are inevitable. If you are stronger and better conditioned, those maladies are less likely to keep you down. Even Ken Hutchins, who developed our exercise protocol and is in his early 70s, battles a rare inflammatory condition known as Still's disease. Its origin is unclear, but Ken believes he would be in much worse shape today if he had not been strength training for all of his adult life.
Exercise cannot fix a poor lifestyle. If you sleep four hours a night, have constant conflict in your life and cannot manage stress effectively, or if you don't apply yourself properly during your workouts, you will likely have trouble achieving meaningful progress. Remember, you only get out of our program what you put into it, and responsibility must be taken if things are not going as you want them to. The Total Results philosophy doesn't work like magic, it is very much a process. The human body is a logical entity, and if you do the things you need to do and allow the body to do its thing, positive results will happen. We can help you gain muscle, improve bone mineral density, increase your metabolic rate, and feel more energetic, but much of it hinges upon what you do when you are not at Total Results. Making good decisions is absolutely critical. By the same token, intermittent fasting is not a panacea, although it can make up for some poor nutritional choices in the short term. In addition, vitamin and mineral supplementation will not make up for getting enough nutrients in your diet. The key is to combine all of these things and make them a part of your lifestyle. If you change your habits, you can change your life. This will give you the best chance for success.
Death is an inevitability for all of us, and none of us knows how long we will live when we are born. We can choose to live well in the time that we are given, or we can squander our opportunity and make excuses. If you decide to make the commitment and start your exercise journey, it can keep you viable later in life, just as it has for our two 92 year old clients who still strength train regularly. No, exercise cannot cure all your ills, but it can give you the strength to remain an independent and active force for good in the world. The choice is yours!