Today, anyone looking to get into better shape has a variety of exercise options to choose from. The popular picks include Insanity, CrossFit, and P90X. While these workout regimens certainly have produced results, there are potential dangers of such extreme forms of exercise.
Power lifting is extremely important for professional athletes, who are largely regarded as the most impressive physical specimens of our culture. Unfortunately, there are actually some real dangers in going through such extreme workouts on a regular basis.
It is telling to look at the statistics for the average lifespan of professional athletes. Just for reference, the average American lives to be 76 years old. On average, elite athletes are deceased by the age of 67. NFL Players, probably some of the most broken and battered athletes on the planet, have an average lifespan of just 58 years.
So, the average elite athlete lives almost 10 years less than the average American, while NFL Players, on average, have a lifespan that is nearly 20 years shorter than average. Part of this, for NFL Players, is a result of the many collisions that their bodies are forced to endure. However, when applied across all athletes, another part of this discrepancy is due to the extremeness of what many of these athletes put their bodies through.
Why Can Power Lifting Be Dangerous?
Power lifting can be especially damaging because it compromises your connected tissue by forcing your legs muscles to maximum exertion. Most athletes fail to pay attention to the health of their connected tissue. We can see the evidence of this right before our eyes. The extensive knee and ankle problems that many athletes endure are a direct result of connected tissue being damaged through extreme workouts.
While, for most athletes, this damage occurs through a long-term, repetitive process of breaking down muscle and joint tissue, extreme muscular exertion can also have dangerous and hidden effects in the short-term, as well.
While the most frightful risk of extreme exercise is exceptionally rare, ABC News recently interviewed a 29-year old entrepreneur who was experienced a condition known as rhabdomyolysis (Rhabdo).
This condition occurs when muscle fibers break down and enter into the bloodstream. From there, the fibers circulate through the body and can cause kidney damage. Rhabdo can actually can serious health problems and, on occasion, has proven fatal.
The Case for a Whole-Body Approach
Certainly, this instance is quite rare. However, it does lend to the favorable notion of taking a more holistic approach to your physical health. High-intensity exercise certainly has its positive health benefits as well, such as more efficient calorie burning and increased metabolism.
After all, many of us do want to increase our physical strength. However, taking the time to pay attention to the connected tissue in your body can significantly increase your overall health in the long term. The importance of fostering and caring for your mental health should also be mentioned here, as well.
At the end of the day, all that we can wish for is our health. In some respects, many of us might need to redefine exactly what ‘health’ means for us, as individuals. What worked for someone else might not be the healthiest or most effective route for you. Take the time to incorporate a whole-body approach into your workout plan and goals.