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"Motion is the Lotion"


Some of you may have heard of this phrase before but I am sure that more of you have not. This phrase comes from the essence that if you move that you will have less age related changes to your joint.


The full idea or breakdown to this saying comes two fold. Motion is good for us and allows us to continue to perform the activities we love to do and the fact that the joints in our body need movement to receive nutrition. Our joints contain both receptors and chemicals that work together to produce and circulate joint fluid to help (1) lubricate and (2) provide nutrition as our joints and ligaments do not contain the appropriate blood vessels to those areas to do so otherwise.


Therefore, just moving around during the day is good enough right?????....depends on who you talk to and your own individual daily activities.


Everyone has their own needs and levels of activity from day to day whether you are a mom at home taking care of her kids, a serious endurance athlete who trains multiple days during the week, or some combination of this. For someone who is not an athlete and just goes for walks for a recreational activity we do not expect them to be able to go to the gym and lift > 100 lbs from the floor...right? Correct, but this is also a wrong way of looking at it.


"What do you mean 'wrong way'?", you may be asking?


Let's break this down. Whether you are an athlete or an active adult we as a human being need some level of resistance to impose stress on our joints ligaments and tendons. This added stress not only will allow us to move (yay! motion is lotion) but it will make our tissues more resistant to strain and sprain as well as break down.


Take for example the woman who is in her mid 40's to early 50's who walks recreationally every day for multiple miles, considering herself an active adult (being an active adult means many things to different people, so don't think of this as an only example). However, when she goes to her MD after receiving a scan for her bone density she finds out she has some osteopenia (mild erosion or decrease in her bone density). She exclaims that she gets out and exercises daily and is surprised that her calcium supplementation has not helped. (Staying on topic we will only focus on her activity)


So, why would she still be noticing a "weakening of her bones" despite her being active....essentially, she is not doing enough for what she needs to. Some level of resistance training is a MUST when speaking to both the active adult and/or the endurance athlete. I am not talking about just doing body weight activities, or going to the gym to become a full time body builder. I am talking about doing a specific amount of activity that places a stress on your bones, ligaments, and tendons that when graded and increased over time will lead to lasting changes and strength of every single component.


What most fail to realize is this component to their training. This is neglected mostly due to lack of knowledge as to what they specifically need for their activity or sport, lack of time, or feeling that they do enough activity already and do not need to incorporate it. Lo and behold, strength or resistance training is much more important and more effective at staving off injury than stretching (67% more effective than stretching) and the activity itself (running, cycling, walking, etc)


I use this post to help you stay mindful about what you are doing and how you are doing it. It is not always about how much you do, it is about what you are doing with your ultimate goal in mind and how are you are ensuring that you get there without injury or breakdown


For the recreational walker, doing some weighted pickups from the floor or squatting with some resistance may provide the stability and strength she needs to prevent breakdown and doing plyometric training or heavier weight lifting may be needed for the runner or triathlete. Every one of your reading this is so individual and unique therefore a specific plan needs to be designed.


The next time you go to do your favorite activity I want you to think..."motion is lotion....but am I doing enough."


If you need help figuring out if you are missing any gaps in your activities or plans please feel free to reach out to find more information of how you can best be served in your own unique way,


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Dr. Robert Berghorn, Jr.

rberghorn@ascentphysicaltherapyny.com

516-3TRINOW (516-387-4669)

Fax: 516-321-0721

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