Stethoscope and pen on top of medical chart.

It's All on the Inside: Do You Know?

Technology has given us the ability to monitor ourselves in new and fashionable ways. Someday, we will be Facebooking and Tweeting about the quantity and rate of oxygen exchange we’re experiencing at the molecular level while we’re training.

Today, many of you are working out and monitoring your heart rate with the help of a wristband. Nice. Now you see immediately if you’re in your training zone. Hopefully, you’re calculating the changes in your heart recovery rate so that you can determine the progress of your cardiac conditioning. 

You definitely know your maximum lift records in every exercise and probably are on top of your waist and arm measurements, along with numerous selfies to document and share your progress. Right?

More Importantly…

You should also be on top of the numbers that give you the real picture of your health: what’s taking place on the inside… numbers like blood pressure, glucose levels, cholesterol, and other major indicators derived from blood analysis. These internal indicators should be much more important to you than the results you see in the mirror; but generally speaking, they are not.

A crude but useful analogy is the car you drive. Recently, a friend of mine experienced catastrophic engine failure for lack of oil. You can’t trust the ‘dummy lights’ and many people don’t check oil dipsticks. It didn’t matter how shiny the paint was, inside the engine where stress was maximized, self destruction was inevitable.

Many of us who train so hard to be healthy are ignorant of the most important indicators of our health.

Let me make this very personal for you.

I received a call years ago that I needed to fly back home to see Dad. He was in the hospital undergoing emergency bypass surgery. He experienced the biological equivalent of catastrophic engine failure. Ironically, in my father’s case, he did notice warning signals and chose to ignore them. After recuperating, he told me about the chest pains and shortness of breath he experienced before his heart attack every time he went up the steps from the basement. I was amazed and disheartened that he would keep such information to himself. And worse than that, choose to do nothing about it! 

Do not make that same mistake. 

Even if you’re not experiencing any symptoms of a problem, blood work and blood pressure checks can reveal underlying issues that can exist which are not accompanied by pain or discomfort until later stages—when the significant damage has already been done.

You train hard to look good and be healthy. Take charge of the total picture by knowing what’s happening inside. Hiding from reality out of fear is not a good choice.

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About The Author

Steven Siemons ACSM CPT's picture

As a lifelong fitness enthusiast and armchair philosopher (BA in Social Science, UC Irvine), Steven communicates his passion for health and wellness with an offbeat slant. It's a lifestyle, he will insist; and fitness is really a journey to find what fits--for you. His personal fitness journey has primarily centered on resistance training for more than fifty years. An intense three-year exposure to Shotokan Karate under Sensei Ray Dalke and Sensei Edmond Otis in Southern California during his thirties (he is now 65, since you're wondering) had a significant impact on his appreciation for the martial arts as fitness disciplines. It is his sincere hope that you will find insight, inspiration, and knowledge from the ideas he sends your way. Find more of his work at The Senior Health and Fitness Blog.

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