Look Beneath The Surface To Determine Which Exercise Is Safe For You

Tree roots exposed by human foot traffic.

Tree roots exposed by human foot traffic, providing a window on a massive root system below. Photo by FitOldDog

Hi! Thanks for coming by!

Nickel, deceased, with Scooter, FitOldDog's lovely canine companions for years.

Two dogs I love, that don’t look so different, Scooter on the left, feisty and independent, and Nickel (now deceased), completely neurotic, scared of her own shadow, leaping out of her skin every time I sneezed! They look similar on the surface! Very different books on the inside.

You can’t tell a book by its cover. This is also true of human bodies and minds. My mantra for this blog is safe exercise for better health, which came from my personal concerns for the safety of Ironman training with my abdominal aortic aneurysm stent graft. Whenever anyone starts or ramps up an exercise or training program they need to ask themselves, “Is this good for me?

Safety is but one of many issues to consider, as you weigh the potential risks of your chosen sport against gains in the form of enjoyment, improved vigor, and the like. That said, unnecessary health risks should be avoided, as they come with no gain. You should consult your physician, coach or other health advisor, laboratory test results such as lactate threshold, and so forth, but at the end of the day only you really know what is going on inside you.

Chez Ollie FitOldDog with his Guru! Photo by Sue.

As you approach a new sport, consider your training base. This base is the body and mind memory of all the sports and exercise you have done in your life. For me, water polo was the big one, and its main value in triathlons is the confidence I have in rough water packed with somewhat hyperactive young swimmers. Easier than water polo. I was also an avid cyclist as a teenager, not competitive cycling, touring and general transport around town. I’d ride a hundred miles on my old bike to visit a friend in another city. This provided me with a strong cycling base of both physical and mental endurance.

The one thing missing, for me, was running. I never was a runner, strongly disliking soccer and athletics. Interestingly, the one area in which I had no training base as a youngster, running, has been the main source of my exercise-induced injuries. Are these facts related, I wonder?

Look into your training history, and plan your exercise accordingly, and maybe you’ll avoid some of the injuries I encountered.

Know your limitations and change them for the better.

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.