As we get older our bodies begin to slow down. We begin to shrink. Our hearing starts to go. We start feeling fatigue quickly like when walking up a flight of stairs. And, the saddest part is when we begin to see our bodies losing muscle strength. Now I am sure most of you are feeling like you have a doctor for everything. But I will tell you that with proper exercise you may be able to decrease the frequency in which you see all of your doctors.
Let me tell you a story:
My client Alex who is 79 suffers with Diabetes, Prostate Cancer, and Intermittent Vascular Claudication. Alex takes medication for his Diabetes and a baby aspirin every morning. Now his doctors felt it was necessary even though he is 79 that he should begin a proper exercise regimen and nutritional plan. See his doctors where worried about one thing, his bone density. During Alex’s fitness assessment we talked about his various conditions and what we, Fitness Matters, could do to help him. I told Alex that with weight training and core training (your core is made up of your spinal stabilizers, deep abdominal muscles, pelvic floor muscles and your hip flexors) we should be able to increase his bone density if not stabilize it. Also, Alex had mentioned how his left shoulder was giving him problems and he was unable to lift the arm up when putting away groceries for his wife. I informed Alex that with some corrective exercises and Chiropractic treatments I could help correct the problem and he wouldn’t have to feel like he was getting old. I then brought Alex out to the training floor to test his cardiovascular endurance and his muscle strength. When I asked Alex which piece of cardio he would like to warm up on he simply said “because I struggle with walking thanks to the pain I get in my legs, I just don’t know”. I looked at Alex and walked him over to the recumbent bike. I told Alex that when my grandfather was alive I helped him improve the circulation in his legs with the recumbent bike. As Alex peddled, I told him that physicians have found that biking on a recumbent bike helps improve circular more than walking. Reason being, your quadriceps muscles will work harder using more glucose and protein and the blood doesn’t pool as quickly in the lower legs because of the angle you are placed in when sitting in a recumbent bike. After the bike Alex and I tried some exercises out of the floor. I discovered that he had a mild case of frozen shoulder. I told Alex which exercises would be included into his strength training program to help correct the problem. After we finished on the floor I brought Alex back into my office and we outlined his frequency. Alex was going to work out three times per week for the next three months. Well let me just tell you come the third month and Alex was able to decrease the strength/dose of his diabetic medication, he was able to walk around an entire grocery store without getting any pain in his legs and according to his bone density scan his levels went up in his low back and hips.
Now I sure many of you could relate to this story. And have similar medical or musculoskeletal conditions or aliments that you may think would prevent you from embarking on an exercise program. Well it’s never to let to start. Understanding that when you chose to embark on this journey that you chose wisely. Meaning that you pick a personal trainer or fitness specialist you want one who works with physicians, one that understands what functional training is and who knows the body especially the physiology.
Let me back track a bit. You are probably asking yourselves what is functionally training. The reason why Alex’s bone density improved so much was because of functioning training. What people don’t understand is that a machine works only the primary muscle not the other muscles. Functionally training works your body through multiple plans of motion recreating activities that mimic daily life.
We were able to work Alex’s balance, core, muscle strength and endurance all through functionally training. The best part was Alex even lost a few pounds because by stimulating his heart rate we were able to stimulate his metabolic rate which made him feel better when he would eat that steak at Morton’s.
Therefore as we get older it is very important to continue to exercise simply because you will gain longevity. For more information on “how to start an exercise program” contact +Heather Gansel