Pay Attention to Your Body

My dad, age 75, goes down to the nearby YMCA and plays racquetball almost every day with a couple of neighbors from his town home complex. They are both women, both in their early-to-late 30s. (Occasionally he plays racquetball with their husbands as well, and occasionally with people at the Y whose partners have stood them up – just so ya know!)

As an aside – my mom is not able to play racquetball. In her early 40s, she was diagnosed with hypertension (i.e. high blood pressure) and given a prescription. But, she did not like how the pills made her feel, so she stopped taking them (and stopped going to the doctor), preferring to try to deal with her condition through natural remedies, instead. Twenty-five later she has congestive heart failure, and now instead of one or two pills a day, she has to take ten or twelve, and can barely walk a couple of blocks without wheezing.

The moral is, try natural remedies if you want, but don’t skip medication prescribed to you by a doctor, either.

Back to my dad, he enjoys playing racquetball, he gets a good workout and it’s just a friendly game. He’s better than one of his opponents, not as good as the other, but there’s no competitive win-all-the-time mentality there. But sometimes he gets a bit amused, as the women will complain about bad backs or sore arms and so on. (Yeah, it’s a guy vs gal thing. Typically guys don’t complain about their minor ailments to each other, preferring to deal with it in private, while gals share everything, don’t they?) But there’s just something off – he thought – about healthy 30-something women complaining about aches and pains in front of a 75-year old man.

Of course, that’s not quite as insensitive as a perfectly slender, even skeletal woman, pinching a bit of her skin between her fingers and complaining to her friend – one who is extremely overweight – that she feels fat! (Well, that’s not so much insensitive as just plain stupid.)

However, did he have a right to be amused?

Once you’ve began your workout routine and worked at it for several weeks, you will become much more in tune to your body. As you’re exercising muscles that have probably never been exercised before, you will indeed experience aches and pains, which should go away after a few days.

If they do not go away, then you may have done yourself an injury and its time to visit an orthopedist to see what’s what.

When you’re just starting out on a regime, you’re in unknown waters. You don’t know what’s normal for your body and what’s not, in terms of how long it takes to recover from a workout and so on. And if you keep exercising “through” pain, because you don’t want to be called a wimp, you might injure yourself more than previously. The best thing to do is pay attention to your body, and if you have persistent pain, have it checked out.

It’s a documented fact that women live longer than men. One of these reasons, physicians speculate, is that most men don’t bother to do anything about their aches and pains, preferring just to suffer in silence, while women will typically not only comment on those aches and pains but also go to a doctor and have them checked out.

But not all women, as my mother’s story illustrates. And so for the sake of those women who adopt a stoic attitude and don’t want to be persevered as a whiner or hypochondriac by their guy friends, I say, don’t let your voice be stilled! As far as your body is concerned, be attuned to it, and get help when you need it.

Steven is dedicated to finding the best way to stay fit and healthy. He knows the importance of eating right and having a workout plan. Steven has finished workouts like the P90x fitness routine and the Chalean Extreme workout.

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