The Best Exercise for Good Health (Part 1)

Is training your serious past-time or hobby? Do you exercise in order to crush the competition? Do you love to test your limits and feel the burn? If not, this one IS for you.

Have you ever watched someone pull off a jaw dropping physical feat? You may have thought or said "Nope - could not do that even if I tried for the rest of my life." Well, you would be surprised at how far targeted training and extreme commitment would take you. But you're probably right - the featured guy or gal probably possesses the combination of hard work over time and a pure gift.

But don't feel bad for being relatively normal. Being an outlier in athletics usually comes at a price. It comes at a price to your personal life and other professional interests and especially to your body. The years of mechanical pounding take their toll.  And the very God-given qualities that define a super athlete often come with at least some degree of long term consequences.

What's best for freakish superhuman physical performance is not always what's best for health. There are many example, but here are a few.
-Throwing with high velocity is awesome. But arm speed is also the greatest factor of stress to the elbow and shoulder, causing a literal twisting of the structure and position of the upper arm bone. We still don't know exactly how much this preserves or hinders the integrity of the shoulder joint as we continue to throw and then age.

-Advanced and even casual endurance athletes, especially females, often suffer osteoporosis in middle age. You could easily claim that fall related fractures and the associated downhill spiral are more of a problem than cardiovascular disease.

-You thought that repetitively heaving a barbell overhead while in a state of mental and physical exhaustion was not going to have paybacks? There are many ways for the average Joe to work hard. Just be careful with how far you Crossfit yourself.

-An outlandish degree of trunk and leg flexibility allows gymnasts to effortlessly perform cartoon-like maneuvers. Top power athletes such as sprinters and team sports have much anterior pelvic tilt with stiff arched lower backs. Both are known to cause lumbar spine and hip arthritis.

Who is to say if the fifteen minutes in the spotlight is worth the consequence, or how many problems such gifted individuals would suffer without all their training. But the questions remains - where is the line for health - the optimal middle ground for normal people that exists somewhere between couch potatoe and fitness freak?

What kind of coaching and rehabilitation should you seek when you do not aspire to win a national or even a street championship, but want to look good, feel good, and function well outside of the gym, for the long haul?

In all of the fitness and sports performance world, is there any room for moderation?
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