By Toni Zeigler

When we were kids, most of us never thought about how easy it was to move.  We just ran, jumped, hopped, skipped, and bulldozed our way through playing and life!  But, life and time can show us that our bodies are deteriorating and need maintenance to stay at their best.

As discussed in my last article about the Perfect Storm of Fitness, strength training is necessary for our optimum physical health.  Many people struggle with doing strength training even when they have never suffered any kind of injury or accident to their body.  STRENGTH TRAINING IS A KEY COMPONENT IN MAKING OUR BODIES OPERATE TO THEIR FULLEST POTENTIAL FOR OUR LIFETIMES!

If you’ve been injured or had surgery on a particular joint or area of your body, strength training has just quadrupled in importance. There is about a 99.9% chance that you will be sent to physical therapy as part of your recovery.  In this arena, you are taught by experts how to enhance and improve the chances of complete healing through various movements and exercises.  Generally, you are in this arena of recovery for six weeks or more. Of course, this time span depends on the initial cause and effect of your body’s breakdown in that area.

What about AFTER physical therapy?  This is where continued strength training exercises are so important. Remember, our bodies were made to M.O.V.E.  It has been my observation that more than 50% of people who go through physical therapy DON’T do anything after that program.   YOU must empower yourself to move into your full recovery!

Learning to strengthen the muscles around the compromised areas is a critical component to the FULL recovery of the specific area that has been compromised.  Let’s say you’ve had a knee replacement. It is important that the muscles in the front of the thigh (quadriceps) and the muscles in the back of the thigh (hamstrings) are strengthened to help support the new knee mechanism.  Not embracing this after physical therapy usually boils down to people being uneducated, uninformed, or too “afraid” to enter a gym environment if they have never been to a gym.  

Help is available through personal trainers who specialize in these areas and also through programs such as SilverSneakers.  I have been both personally involved in, and witnessed through others, the amazing life-changing ability of people to have strong movement improvements “post-operation/procedure”!  If you have gone through any kind of situation where your body has been compromised, I IMPLORE you to look into strength training.  This amazing machine that God made called our “BODY” has the ability to restore and rejuvenate itself when we give it the right stimuli.