Why protecting joints should be everyone’s no.1 workout priority

I have been an exercise freak all my life. But still, aged 60, I sprint up hills, jump on boxes, run 10km and lift heavy weights without any joint issues. I’ve never been one for stretching, and I was put off yoga: yet, so far, it’s all worked out.

Having spoken to the health and fitness experts, I’m firmly of the belief that my joints have been protected by one thing: my own colossal mediocrity. I wasn’t picked for any school teams, and have no particular drive to be the best, break records or find the limits of my capability – I have plodded happily through slow 7km jogs and unremarkable sets of 10 on the bench press. And little did I know how beneficial that would transpire to be.

Stuart McGill, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Waterloo, Canada and author of Back Mechanic, is the man people turn to for advice on back pain and joint issues. An expert on weight training and its effect on the skeleton, what’s his conclusion? “After being in this area for 40 years, I would say the idea is neither to rust nor to wear out.” In other words, the key to protecting your joints is not to neglect or overdo movement.

“All systems in your body require stress for good health. Stress stimulates the body to adapt and adaptation creates robustness,” says McGill. “But there is a ‘stress tipping point’. If the tipping point is exceeded, micro-injuries occur that accumulate creating nagging back pain, stress fractures or tendon injuries that can linger for years.”

Here’s our expert advice on the best way of exercising in your twenties and thirties to ensure you still have good joints when you hit 60+.

Read original article from www.gq-magazine.co.uk