The Type of Exercise You Choose Doesn’t Matter

Instead, focus on how long and how hard you work

Zachary Walston, PT, DPT, OCS
Wise & Well


Photo by Outlook Photography and Studio on Unsplash

It’s exhausting trying to follow all of the exercise advice provided by experts. I’ve been a physical therapist for 10 years and am often frustrated reading and listening to the ridiculous recommendations provided by fellow clinicians, personal trainers, and coaches.

Despite fewer than a quarter of Americans meeting the physical activity guidelines, many people are bombarded with suggestions for all of the exercises they shouldn’t do.

They are also provided with more barriers than solutions. Recommendations often focus on specific exercises to do or avoid. Some experts say squats and deadlifts are foundational exercises, vital for health and wellness, while others condemn the same exercises, claiming they will destroy your knees and back.

The same is true for cardiovascular exercise. Articles and social media videos claim running will degrade your knees and cycling is bad for your back. Or are they the best exercises for heart health?

It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you choose. The fear-mongering can be dismissed quickly. Lifting heavy weights, even with a rounded back, is not dangerous. We have studies, such as a systematic review in the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports