problem solver

My Joints Want to Give Up, but I Don’t

Q: A:

I love teaching fitness and motivating people to move! I especially love teaching energetic cardio classes such as step and high-low impact. But my joints just can’t take heavy stress anymore. The thought of teaching stretch, yoga and other “low-key” classes does not appeal to me. Call me an aging baby boomer who is not ready to hang up the workout shoes! Any suggestions on how to continue in my beloved profession when my joints won’t cooperate?

Liliana Lugo, Caracas, Venezuela
The mind is tremendously powerful, believing it can do almost anything. Perhaps for years your mind has told your body, “Go on. You can do what you want. You can!” But the body has its own wisdom and eventually demands to be heard. If ignored, it essentially “goes on strike”–which is when injuries occur. Then we, as fitness professionals, are forced out of the activities we love. If you listen to your mind and body simultaneously and constantly, you set up strong communication between the two, and this helps you know and understand yourself. You also become more accepting of inevitable changes. So when joints, ligaments, muscles or other parts of your body don’t cooperate as before, be smart. Retain a part of what you enjoy about fitness, while also introducing other options. For example, teach your energetic high-low cardio classes once a week, but pick up indoor cycling, trekking, strength conditioning or other challenging classes. Also protect yourself in the following ways: