Primum non nocere is a Latin phrase that means "First, do no harm." The phrase is sometimes recorded as primum nil nocere.
It is one of the principal precepts all medical students are taught in medical school. It reminds a physician that he or she must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do.
I recently attended a kettlebell workshop (RKC/Hardstyle) taught by Dr Mark Cheng of Kettlebells LA and hosted by Rannoch Donald of Kettlebells Scotland.
The first thing that Mark said at the workshop washed over me a little at the time, but I've been thinking about it more and more since then. The primary thing he wanted us to remember with respect to our training was simple: FIRST DO NO HARM.
Training and exercise should not damage or injure. They should enhance your life, health and function rather than diminish it. I've injured myself in the past through exercise - I still suffer from a bad back initiated about 16 years ago when deadlifting - and it is so frustrating and paradoxical. Sometimes the extra fitness benefit is not worth the health risk that comes with that little bit extra. I was reminded of this last night - I tweaked my back doing burpees, an exercise that had irritated my back in the past. I was primed for it - unfamiliar exercise over the weekend and a long drive left me tight and sore.
I want to be fit through my 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond. Perhaps that means a different perspective on exercise.
Do no harm - in terms of the movements, the frequency, the intensity.