I had a client come in a few weeks back and we were talking about how our approach to exercise is different at Muscle Activation Schaumburg than at most other personal training studios in Schaumburg.  I was telling him how our approach to exercise was all about improving our clients’ health and function. We talked about how we place a large emphasis on keeping our clients’ bodies tuned up and working well so they can keep doing the activities they love.

This concept really hit home with him.  As an auto mechanic, he had noticed that a driver can do pretty much whatever they want with their car when it is newer.  They can drive fast, brake fast, turn sharply, and accelerate quickly. When the car is relatively new, this type of driving doesn’t seem to really harm the car.  But, once the car hits 100,000 miles, you have to really keep the car tuned up in order to be able to continue to drive it in that manner.

Our bodies are similar to the car in that when we are younger, we can tolerate a lot more stress.  We can be less concerned about what we are eating, we can operate on a lot less sleep, and we can pretty much exercise however we want and our body stays feeling relatively good.  But, the question then becomes, how do we maintain our function as we age? How do we keep doing the things we love to do as our body hits the metaphorical 100,000 mile mark?

From an exercise perspective, I’d like to offer three considerations:

1) Move Consistently Throughout Your Day

2) Strategically-Designed, Internally-Focused Resistance Training

3) Regular Muscle System Maintenance Through MAT®

1) Move Consistently Throughout Your Day

Moving consistently throughout your day is absolutely vital to maintaining your health and function as your body accumulates more miles.  Moving consistently throughout the day has been shown time and again to help ward off insulin resistance, which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.

Now, moving consistently throughout the day is not the same as “getting your steps in”.  Wearing a fitness tracker has value, but only if you understand how to interpret the data.  Looking at the total number of steps you accumulated throughout a day should only be used when comparing relative to other days as well as to show trends over time.

What is far more valuable is looking at your relative activity over the course of the entire day.  If you are somebody who gets most of their steps in during one large bout of exercise, or cranks out 2,500 steps at the end of the day in order to reach your step goal, you are largely missing the point of wearing a fitness tracker.

Instead of looking at the absolute number of steps you get in, look at the relative number of steps you get in each hour. Why? Because preventing insulin resistance requires you to move consistently throughout the day, and doing one large bout of exercise daily is not enough to prevent insulin resistance if you are sedentary the rest of the day.

The commonly-accepted recommendation is to move for 5 minutes every 25 minutes, or 10 minutes every 50 minutes.  Getting up and moving consistently throughout your day is absolutely vital to preventing insulin resistance, and is a must if you want to keep your body functioning at a high level as you hit the 100,000 mile mark.

2) Strategically-Designed, Internally-Focused Resistance Training

Strategically-designed, internally-focused resistance training has been the topic of a lot of our content over the past couple years.  Most notably would be the podcast Julie and I put out called “The Exercise Pyramid”. With this type of exercise, we are talking about foundational exercise with the sole intention of improving the health and function of “the pieces” – the individual muscles and joints that allow you to keep doing all of the things that you love to do.

As we’ve discussed in past blog posts and podcasts, this type of exercise is not about trying to burn calories, get your heart rate up, get sweaty, or anything that the traditional fitness industry is trying to sell.  This type of exercise is 100% focused on improving how your body works, and specifically how your muscles and joints work. This is vital to be doing because having your joints and muscles healthy is what will allow you to continue to be active and doing the things you love to do.

At Muscle Activation Schaumburg, our recommendation is a minimum of twice per week with this strategically-designed, internally-focused resistance training.  If you want to keep your body functioning at a high level as you hit the 100,000 mile mark, engaging in this type of exercise is an absolute must-do.

3) Regular Muscle System Maintenance with MAT®

The loss of muscular function is directly related to the loss of overall physical function and physical ability.  Therefore, making sure your muscles stay working well has to be prioritized if you want to maintain your health and function as you hit 100,000 miles.  Specifically, Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) is a must-do for anybody who wants to keep their body working well.

MAT® is the tune-up for your body, much like you take your car into the mechanic to get tuned up.  If you are wanting your car to last for longer than 100,000 miles, you need to get it tuned up regularly.  The same concept goes for your body.

As your body undergoes more stress from injuries, repetitive movement patterns, and chronic compensations, the resulting inflammation creates a disconnect between the nervous system and the muscles.  This disconnect is like loosening the battery cables of your car. When your battery cables are loose, it doesn’t matter how much horsepower you have in your engine, you won’t be able to access it.

MAT® will assess your body to figure out where these disconnects are and then address the disconnected muscles to get them working as they are supposed to.  The end result is you will be able to access all of the strength and function that you have built throughout your life. Because your muscles will be working better, your joints will likely be able to move better.  Additionally, your joints will be better supported by your muscles, leaving them better protected from injury.

At Muscle Activation Schaumburg, we recommend our clients get tuned up with MAT® a minimum of once per month.  If you are interested in finding an MAT® practitioner in your area, you can search for one here.

The more usage anything gets, the more it will have to be tuned up and maintenanced to make sure it is stays working well.  Your body is no exception to this. While there are many ways to help ensure your body stays functioning well, one of the most impactful is through exercise.  If you feel like your body is approaching the 100,000 mile mark, make sure to include moving consistently throughout your day, strategically-designed and internally-focused resistance training, and Muscle Activation Techniques® into your daily, weekly, and monthly plans.


Charlie Cates

Char­lie Cates, M.S. is a Muscle Activation Techniques® Master Specialist (MATm), an MATRx® Full Body Specialist, a mastery level Resistance Training Specialist® (RTSm), and a Cer­ti­fied Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Charlie attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College in 2010, where he played varsity basketball for four years. In 2016 he graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a Master of Science degree in exercise science. A type-1 diabetic, he is the owner of Muscle Activation Schaumburg in Schaumburg, IL. He is an instructor for the Muscle Activation Techniques® program, introducing students of all different backgrounds to the MAT® process. Charlie specializes in managing and improving the function of his clients’ muscular system through the MAT® process and utilizing RTS® principles. He can be reached via e-mail at charlie@matschaumburg.com. Fol­low him on Instagram at @CharlieCates!

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