The Slight Edge and Pain
The Slight Edge and Pain
I often get asked “how long do I need to do this exercise for?” or “do I need to keep doing those stretches you gave me?”
These questions inevitably come after a period of time whereby someone is out of pain and seeking to gain back that precious 5-10mins of their day that I have filled in with some exercises or stretches. Normally my answer is “Yes unless you want the pain to come back”. The reason being that if I prescribe a certain stretch or exercise specifically to help that person I have done so to help undo something they are doing to themselves habitually.
We aren’t built to sit all day, read phones all day or type all day. Nor are we built to lift heavy weights in one direction over and over again or sit on bikes for hours or run for miles every day.
So what is the Slight Edge and where does that come into it?
The Slight Edge is capitalised for a reason because it is the title of a great book written by Jeff Olson. I recommend this to anyone seeking to make better choices in their lives. In this book he discusses the principle in depth but basically what he says is that every day we have choices to make. We can choose positive actions or negative actions. For example, we can choose to eat McDonalds today or we can choose to eat a healthy salad. Neither of these actions will make us sick nor help us live a longer life today. But these actions over time will lead to either health or illness via the Slight Edge principle.
As the image suggests the real rewards or consequences of your decisions don’t occur today or tomorrow, but over time. They occur when we make the same choices over and over again. The results of these choices summate or add up and lead to massive changes.
So how does this apply to pain?
If we make small positive choices for a week will we notice a difference?
Maybe, maybe not.
If we make these same choices for one month will we notice a difference?
Most likely yes. Furthermore you will soon reap the benefits of developing some new positive habits in your day.
Will this fix all of your aches and pains?
Probably not but the other option is to make negative choices or to simply do nothing. Over time this will probably lead to pain or other negative consequences.
Using the Slight Edge principal in making decisions on a daily basis will lead to growth of exponential proportions. Use it with nutrition, exercise choice and lifestyle decisions and see your results improve out of sight.
The choices you make don’t have to be drastic measures. Here are some examples you can try tomorrow:
· Walk somewhere you normally drive
· Take the stairs instead of the lift
· Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning
· Skip the sugar in your coffee
· Do 5 mins of stretching twice a day
· Do 10 squats every hour at work
· Do 10 push ups every hour at work
· Swap just 20 mins of TV time for a book. Doing this alone means on average you would read around 20 more books a year.
All of these actions are small and don’t take up much time or energy but over time they will make a huge difference. Enjoy the renewed energy you get from these changes and if it helps your pain levels improve then that’s an added bonus.