Weighing In on an Article

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Recently, the New York Times wellness blog psted an article about people seeking out more dangerous and extreme exercise alternatives. I have some thoughts about it.

COMCAM Sailors Take On Tough Mudder
COMCAM Sailors Take On Tough Mudder

The article, Personal Best: Workouts Have Their Limits, Recognized or Not, brings up performing burn out sets in a gym, which I assumed was a vague reference to CrossFit, as well as individuals taking part in obstacle races that require waivers stating they could die.

Without asking why these trends are occurring among exercisers, the author goes on to get opinions from William Kraemer and a handful of other very respected researchers, discussing the needs of people to get adequate recovery and employ periodization in their workouts so that progress can be maintained and continued over the course of training cycles. While overuse injuries and overtraining are important things to avoid, this information is merely treating a symptom of the underlying cause of the issue.

Many people lack stimulating physical challenges in their daily lives.  Mindlessly, jogging on treadmills and going through predetermined weight stack circuits does not do enough to stimulate us. And the risk of danger to life and limb, exaggerated or not, has likely become a more attractive option for exercise because that same risk of danger sounds like an opportunity for adventure and overcoming challenges that raise our heart rate with emotion as well as movement.

MovNat San Diego 2011
MovNat San Diego 2011

Being a MovNat Team Instructor, I have had the opportunity to teach people different movement techniques and principles in varied environments, as well as overcome challenges with inherent risks or danger. These risks and dangers can be great opportunities for building confidence and excitement about exercise so long as they are managed in a careful and thoughtful way. MovNat as a physical education and fitness system, provides a great framework for people to experience challenges safely, improve fitness effectively, and escape the "Zoo Human" lifestyle.

While overtraining can be a big concern for athletes, I think our biggest concern in our sedentary nation is developing a love for movement that provides us with stimulating challenges. Lucky me, I get to be a part of doing just that all over the country. If you are interested in attending a MovNat Workshop just check the schedule to find an event near you.