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You might be surprised to
discover that your body is
designed to move a certain
way. Even more important,
you’re designed to move at
any age.
“I have a patient who is 80
years old and a triathlete,”
says Sherry McLaughlin,
president and founder of the
Michigan Institute for
Human Performance. “Not everyone can do that, but age is
the last excuse for not being active. So is pain.”
Ready to Move?
Five Things to Know about Your Body’s Design
That’s because with the right program, you can safely begin
a regular exercise program in your 50s and 60s.
“Don’t let the excuse of aches and pains or getting older be
the reason you don’t exercise,” says Sherry. “Some of the
most fervent walkers, runners and athletes I know are over
the age of 60. You can really beneft by becoming active,
even if you’ve been inactive your entire life.”
Your body movements are linked with your body design, she
adds. Remember these facts to stay pain-free:
1. You were designed to be symmetrical. Do you move
equally from left to right? Does one shoulder dip
or your head tilt? Lack of symmetry in your posture
often causes pain in exercise, but it can be fxed.
2. You were designed to move in three planes of
motion – front to back, side to side and twisting.
Your exercise program should focus on these
motions, because pain-free living requires rotation.
3. Muscles only learn what we teach them. When
exercising, train movements, not muscles.
4. Pain is not inevitable. Don’t blame your age,
ancestry or gender for aches and pains; blame your
asymmetry.
5. It’s almost always about the butt! Your gluteus
maximus is the biggest muscle in your body and
located just behind your center of gravity, so if this
muscle doesn’t work right, the little muscles won’t
either. Keep it stretched, strong and healthy.
To get started, visit your doctor for a check-up. Then, Sherry
recommends fnding something you enjoy such as walking,
running, hiking, tennis or golf. Find a partner to work out
with. Then make sure your exercise program focuses on your
body’s movement patterns to help avoid falls and injuries.
LiveWell: Mid-Life
8
Sherry McLaughlin,
M.S.P.T., O.C.S.