We all know that exercise is medicine and, like any medication, must be carefully dosed. The right exercise for you must be tailored and targeted to create the precise response expected for the physiological groups in your body that you want to change. At Leadership Health, that’s what we do.
Our exercise prescription protocol, developed in collaboration with one of the world’s foremost experts in kinesiology exercise science at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, is arguably among the best you will find. It’s deeply rooted in the latest science and in extensive clinical trials. A bicep curl seems simple, but not all bicep curls are the same. By utilizing the precision and science behind our programs, you can activate entirely different substructure groups within your body via what seems initially to be the same movement. Targeted exercises have to work in a way that hones in on the specific area where you need maintenance or improvement.
What Is The Target?
Exercise is central to good health. It can do many things to support almost any portion of your body. That seems simple. But for it to work optimally, first and foremost, do no harm. Our efforts target neuromuscular and endocrine systems but are done in a way that will not do damage to your body. Our programs are carefully tailored to your unique needs. And they address a basic “Catch 22:” You must work the targeted area in your body hard enough to see a difference but not so strenuously that progressive efforts cause overload.
Take those bicep curls. The bicep is not simply one muscle acting alone. It is part of a complex muscular group that powers your upper arm and connects with your lower arm and shoulder. It must have a strong connection to the body’s nervous system, for example.
Knowing what your specific target is remains key throughout exercise, and Leadership Health’s programs are extraordinarily detailed, going beyond things like just a routine bicep curl, and based on science and rigorous clinical trials.
What To Expect
When you begin our guided, evidence-based exercise protocol, the first step is the process of recruitment of your neurological function to be better integrated with your muscular system. If you want to generate some force in a bicep curl, five nerves fire. Nerves connect more portions of the body’s system to your muscles.
Therefore, exercise of specific areas helps the body become more interconnected. The neurological system recognizes the action you take, and you initiate a phase called recruitment. This means that a basic bicep curl really isn’t that simple. Laser-sharp focus on specific movements is key to getting the exact results you need for your body.
Expect our trained medical professionals to evaluate your unique needs and get down to the nitty gritty to put you in a targeted exercise program that may seem simple to do, but actually triggers a cascade of actions in the body. It’s not just a bicep curl: It’s so much more based on the amount of weight you’re lifting, the speed with which you lift and release the weight, the position you assume to do the curl, and so on.
Increase strength and motor control
We’re all familiar with workouts designed to increase your strength. Directly related, motor control is perhaps even more important. The old saying of “use it or lose it” applies here: Keep your body regularly applying specific exercises to targeted areas, or it will lapse into a lack of precision. Just like athletes, the average person needs motor control. It affects our balance, hand dexterity and more. This is particularly important as we age. Keeping your body better integrated improves your overall function and health.
When it comes to motor control, imagine professional athletes as examples. Sit a Michael Jordan or a Tiger Woods next to another person with the exact same body type: matching bicep circumference, abdominal girth and a mirror image in other visible body traits. Yet one person becomes the famous basketball legend or the household name tops in professional golf -- and the other does not.
Enter motor control. Two comparable athletes may be the same on the outside, but one throws a basket and makes the three-pointer and the other cannot achieve the same precision. A lot of the difference has to do with the integration of their neurological function with their muscular function. The standout athletes are at the stage where they are able to get micronewtons of force in difference between their strong neuromuscular function and that of someone who is not as successful.
Strength training equals motor control. Muscular athletes are tightly integrated within themselves. The more that you can achieve this connection, the better your body will perform even just basic everyday tasks such as walking or riding a bicycle.
One of the biggest benefits we are eager to provide all our patients, especially those over age 50, is improvement in motor control. That is one of the first things to ebb as we get older.
Why Exercise is Essential After 50
Strength training with progressive overload, particularly for people over age 50, affects how motor control is carried out at a high level.
First of all, this kind of exercise regimen improves the body’s nervous system, allowing more and better command signals from the nerves to be emitted. Second, the amount of signal from the nerves to get pushed into the muscles to activate contractions for exercise increases. Third, the “plant” becomes stronger -- with “plant” in this case referring to the body’s overall machinery, encompassing all aspects of your structure.
With gentle progression guided by our medical professionals, you can see solid gains in your body’s performance. All this is done in conjunction with a proper collaboration between medical doctors and dieticians to ensure your diet supports the effort. Glycemic control and protein consumption, plus micronutrients, get special focus.
Your Aging Body
Immediately after birth, your body’s cells are designed to continually get healthier and healthier, stronger and better. It’s at age 25 that this function slowly begins to degrade. Most people notice this change, and by age 30, you can feel that your body might not be as capable. There are a lot of physiological processes at play here.
Across the board, muscular function starts to decline and neurological function associated with it also begins to go off balance. Your body starts to atrophy. Neurological workings that peak at age 25 are now forced to balance to a new normal of a declining muscular network.
When a person reaches an elderly stage in life, the body’s neurological system has little to work with. Motor control is reduced. Strength is diminished. And these are among the most serious reasons that contribute to the frequency of falls among our elderly population.
But with the help of the medical professionals at Leadership Health, this is not necessarily an inevitable, devastating decline. Our programs are focused to help maintain and restore these functions. Our primary focus is balance control.
What is an Exercise Prescription?
Your proper dose of exercise as medicine is unique to you. We guide you carefully with the exact form, repetitions, and more based on specific testing. This program treats exercise similar to cholesterol measurement and medicine subsequently prescribed to lower lipids -- triglycerides in particular -- for example. Levels are checked periodically and medicine doses adjusted as needed, and this is continued over time.
Similarly, performance testing is done in one of our offices or even from your home to begin our process. Then an exercise program is prescribed. Just as with prescription drugs, our exercise solution is adjusted according to your progress and changing needs, particularly as you age. And we’re careful to keep you moving at a solid pace but not a pace so rigorous that it could cause damage.
What if I’m Mostly Fit, But Need Improvement?
You may not feel fit enough to go to a gym but not injured enough for physical therapy. That’s where our programs shine.
Designed in collaboration with experts at the University of Maryland School of Health department of kinesiology, our programs are aimed at bringing the evidence of clinical trials of patients similar to you, set to reach a clinical goal, and eliminating guesswork. You can be sure that what you do within your prescribed program with us is based on proven science.
And the benefits are yours for the taking. By following the program designed for you, you can expect improved balance, better energy levels, improved glycemic control, a blood pressure level more in line with the norm, and an improved lipid profile, particularly with your triglycerides. We use clinical trials as a guide to properly prescribe and dose exercise.
With all this to gain, why wait? Contact us today and get started improving your health today with the right exercise prescription!