Talk to a nutritionist and their most simplified approach to weight loss is that if the calories you use up exceed the calories you take in you’ll lose weight. Flip that equation and you’ll gain weight. Often you can simplify injuries to this level as well. Every activity places a certain level of demand on your body and everyone has a certain physical capacity. If the demands exceed the capacity you’ll eventually hurt yourself. If you flip that equation you may enjoy an injury free existence.
Demands greater than Capacity = Injury
Understand demands and capacity
Your body is constantly adapting to the demands consistently placed on it and will be expertly prepared for those demands. If your life consists of getting up, driving to work, sitting all day and then watching tv for the night your body will only remain strong enough to roughly keep your body upright while standing or sitting. If you only expose yourself to small physical demands you’ll only maintain a small capacity. If you always take the elevator you’ll always get tired climbing stairs.
Infrequent activities do not last
You stress your body, maybe you do 10 lunges. Your muscles and connective tissues are stretched and strained. The repair process takes 24 to 48 hours and your body adds some extra muscle and connective tissue fibers in case you need them for the next time you do 10 lunges. After a couple of days if you don’t do any more lunges those fibers may not be maintained and are re-absorbed and their materials used elsewhere. 2 weeks later you do 10 lunges and they’re no easier.
You do 10 lunges. 2 days later you do 10 more lunges. Every 2 days you take the new tissue your body has added and stress them. In turn your body adds more tissue and you stress that tissue. Suddenly you have greater muscle strength and connective tissue that can better resist that stress and strain of 10 lunges 2 weeks later you do 20 lunges and they feel as easy as 10. More importantly when you decide to move a few heavy boxes in the basement you’re less likely to injure yourself thanks to this new capacity.
The blunt truth
You need to give your body a capacity beyond the demands you may place on it. If you’re facing a physical demand that you know is greater than your capacity; expect injuries. Maybe not the first time but you’re poking a sleeping bear. You don’t need to hit the gym and squat 300lbs. You need to be good at movement, you need to be practiced at lifting, pushing and pulling things that weight as much as things you interact with regularly. This could mean a shovel full of snow, a basket full of laundry a couple 2 by 8 boards or a heavy bag far in the back your car trunk. If you’re not preparing for the demands, prepare to call my office.