Anyone that has read this site in the past few years knows that when it comes to exercise I seek out movements that are kind to the joints and respect how the muscles move. My general position is that much of what passes for exercise today exposes the exerciser to too much injury risk. There is both the risk of getting injured during or immediately after the exercise or years later from cummulative wear and tear on the joints. Treat your joints kind when you’re young and your older self will be grateful.
But maybe we shouldn’t be as concerned about the second class of injuries? The reason is I consider myself a Healthy Optimist. Technology to the rescue. The trajectory of health care progress is impressive and will continue to get better every year. Look at the strides made in artificial limbs in the last decade. I could easily see in 10 or 20 years that replacement parts will be superior to our human parts. Going into a Jiffy Lube like facility for new parts might be common. Throw in lots of sensors and a datalink to a cloud server and we’ll become more and more indestructible.
Photo by JD Hancock
Twenty years from now all those ripped CrossFit athletes will be laughing at me as they strut around with their new bionic shoulders. Kippling pull-ups away! The average barbell back squatter will be lifting 500+ pounds well into their 60s with the spinal replacement. No disc compression with the new Super Spine 3000. And the runners will be able to go endless miles as their robotic joints absorb the energy from every step and redirect it to the muscles.
As the runner heads down a trail, their new parts will communicate to a cloud server which knows their location. The server will send optimized settings for that trail. The squatter’s Super Spine 3000 would of course be able to detect load and adjust for optimal safety throughout the repetition. Even if form suffers, the Super Spine 3000 is always calculating where optimal safety is and makes the appropriate adjustments.
This future world of bionic parts may not come or it may come too late for many. So I’ll still play it safe. But if you find walking and slow HIT too boring, go knock yourself out with extreme exercises. The engineers are working hard on solutions to ensure your later years aren’t spent in pain with restricted movement. YOLO!