IN 1981 BONNIE PRUDDEN was invited to speak at the Florida Hospital (now Advent Health) in Orlando, Florida. Following her lecture / demonstration she invited her audience to participate in a question and answer period. As the two hour session was ending a hand went up in the back of the room and a male voice said, “You haven’t said anything about aerobics.” Without missing a beat Bonnie  male runners photoanswered, “We’ve ruined our chassis to save our motors.” The audience went quiet for a few seconds as they tried to take in what they had just been told. I’ve always thought that it was a more than fitting answer to those who, in the name of saving their hearts, had ruined their muscles and joints.

The word aerobic was coined in 1968 and became the buzz word of the Seventies and Eighties — and at first it teamed up with cardiovascular work, condition, and goals. One reason was the high rate of heart attacks among American men. The Ys introduced a Run For Your Life program and, thanks to Adidas, men were off to the races.

A good marketer decided women too should exercise and, since men were running, women should copy them. Classes in hopping up and down while waving arms and shouting, “Woo! Woo!” sprouted all over the place albeit on cement covered by tile. Women wore tights or shorts, wilted woollies and… Adidas. The classes were called aerobic dance and led to a fitness fashion boom.

It took roughly five years to discover that of the 30 million registered runners, 15 million had suffered foot, leg, and back injuries along with impotence and the need for hip replacements. There is nothing wrong with running, it is great exercise. Running which provides serenity, a natural high and time alone can be yours without injury if you stick to the trails, the beach, the golf course, or the cinder track. JUST STAY OFF HARD SURFACES.

At the same time, Aerobic Dance began to take its toll on women. Foot, leg, back, and pelvic pain started to empty the classes. Forty percent of the women participants had to give it up, and 80 percent of the “teachers” had to quit.

Both Kenneth Cooper and Jane Fonda have mentioned that maybe they asked too much from their followers. It is reported that Cooper suffered stress fractures to the bones of his feet and Fonda created a less vigorous video. Stress fractures are tiny cracks in a bone. They are caused by repetitive force, often from overuse such as repeatedly jumping up and down and running on hard surfaces for long distances. The aerobic craze damaged teachers and students.

Which brings me to Repetitive Movement.

Running, jumping up and down as in an aerobics class, spinning, and treadmill are all repetitive movements. You understand repetitive movement as applied to the computer worker chained to the keyboard all day or the factory worker required to perform the same movement over and over for eight hours. Why don’t you understand that running, jumping up and down as in an aerobics class, spinning, and treadmill are all repetitive movements? And, for the most part, they damage the very parts of you that take you where you want to go and enjoy life.

Many of the patients I see for Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy® treatment have ruined their chassis to save their motors. They have foot, ankle, knee, hip, low back pain and incontinence. Many need surgery of one kind or another. Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy works for muscle related pain but it will only be a temporary fix if there is underlying pathology. Once the problem has been taken care of medically then BPMyo will help restore muscle function quickly so that the muscles work beautifully along with whatever procedure has been performed.

Don’t let your chassis become the victim of repetitive movement.

WARM UP all your muscles.

WORK OUT all your muscles.

STRETCH OUT all your muscles using ballistic stretch.

Muscles love variety and will serve you well if you treat them fairly and with good sense.

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If you have questions or need help, email me at enid@bonnieprudden.com.

For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit www.bonnieprudden.com. Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help. Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®