I Wish My Mom Would Engage a Personal Trainer

My mom used to be very active until she turned around 60.  She lives in Florida and I live in Washington State.  Mom is trying to do some activity like aquatics but I know it isn’t enough. She has balance problems and fell a few years ago and fractured her wrist.  Now she tells me she has some PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease.)

I went to visit her last year and we stayed at the beach.  The motel had a pool and the beach was right beyond the pool.  My mom wanted to walk out on the beach to see the ocean waves but she told me she could not go because she would fall and it was too much trouble.  Then she told me she hadn’t been to the beach in years and she lives in Florida.  Another time we went on a trip to the East coast.  We took a bus tour.  My mom could not get up and out of the bus to see many of the sights because it was too much trouble for her.  She spent most of the trip just sitting in the tour bus waiting for me to come back.  One time when I finally got her out of the bus her knee bothered her so much from just walking down the street that I had to hail a taxi to take her back to the tour bus.  I’m a personal trainer and I can tell her on the phone until the cows come home about starting a weight training program but she won’t listen.  If I lived there I could get her to do it; but I don’t live near her.  I wish I could help her do the things she would like to do.

How many of you who are reading this either have parents similar to mine or are the parents who maybe can’t walk on that beach?  Maybe you can’t go on that trip you have always wanted to go on because you are afraid you can’t handle climbing stairs or getting in and out of tour buses? Maybe it is as simple as not being able to do hobbies like gardening that you so much loved to do or walking your dog around the block or two.                                                                                                                            Frail

Unless people do regular strength exercise, they lose over five pounds of muscle and significant amounts of bone mass every decade of their adult life.  This results in a progressively slower metabolism and is associated with numerous degenerative problems and diseases, such as low back pain, obesity, heart disease, adult diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

What if there was a solution for people just like you… who aren’t looking for the latest “fat loss” craze or looking to become the fittest person in the world?  What if there was a solution that improved your functional ability and energy levels and was tailored to your abilities?  A solution to:

Discover renewed energy so that you can do the things you’re doing now… even BETTER.

Improve your confidence in your physical abilities so you get much more out of life and can say “Yes I am going to take that walk on the beach”, instead of “no thanks I can’t.”

Dramatically increase your stamina and endurance so you can play a full round of golf, work in the garden without your body being stiff and sore later, or volunteer at the local elementary school.

Reduce or even eliminate any discomfort so you can actually get on the floor to play with your grandkids get up again.

Be confident that you will have the physical ability to enjoy all the adventures and wonders you have yet to accomplish.                                                                                         Personal training Blog

There is a solution:  a personal trainer!  A personal trainer can design a program just for you.  A trainer can sit with you to see what you really want out of life and help you achieve that goal or goals.  A trainer can help you with that knee replacement you had that is still stiff or help you to maintain your balance so you don’t have to use your cane anymore.  A personal trainer can help you achieve mobility and give you your freedom again!

If you are interested in personal training please check out our website at:   http://www.fit4lifesequim.com/ or call us at 360-928-7107 or just stop in at Fit4Life Studio at 1247 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA.  98382

This Simple Exercise Offers Many Benefits to Health

By Pauline Geraci

There are countless physical activities out there, but there is one simple activity that has so many benefits! It’s not a new fad with a fancy name; it’s walking.  Of all the physical activities that you can engage in, walking has the lowest dropout rate of them all! It’s the simplest positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health.  Even Hippocrates, the father of medicine during 5th century Athens said, “Walking is man’s best medicine.”

Research has shown that the benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day can help you:

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Improve blood lipid profile
  • Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
  • Enhance mental well being
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
  • Reduce the recurrence of some cancers
  • Have a more positive attitude toward physical activity
  • Improve resting heart rate
  • Lower body fat and total cholesterol.
  • Improve lung power, overall physical functioning, and general fitness
  • Reduces the risk of breast cancer.  Women who performed the equivalent of one hour and 15 minutes to two and a half hours per week of brisk walking had an 18% decreased risk of breast cancer compared with inactive women.
  • Lowers the risk of vascular dementia by about 70-75%
  • Reduces the risk of hip fracture for post- menopausal women who walked 4 hours a week by 41%

The latest addition to that research comes from the Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.  Their conclusion: Risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, depression and other life-threatening conditions can be reduced through regular outdoor walking in groups.

According to the data, regular participation in a group walking program offers many benefits. “Statistically significant improvements were found in a range of widely used health measures; systolic and diastolic blood pressure resting heart rate, body fat, BMI, total cholesterol, VO2max, depression, 6-minute walk time, and quality of life for physical functioning,” the authors explained.  Researchers also found that walking is a cost-effective and low-risk way of improving overall health. The researchers also suggested that doctors should prescribe that patients join a walking group for added health benefits.

Exercise, especially walking, is indeed medicine!

DO YOU REALLY NEED A WALKER OR CANE?

By Pauline Geraci, Certified Personal Trainer and Owner Fit4Life Studio where every day we ask ourselves how we can add value to our clients’ lives beyond just a good workout.

I live in a predominantley retirement town.  I see many people using walkers that move slowly, are hunched over and don’t look very comfortable.  They also rely on friends and family to get their food for them, to do things for them that they would normally do for themselves limiting their mobility even further. I ususally ask myself “Do they really need a walker?”

Yes, there are many people who have fallen and are afraid of falling again but do they really need a walker prescribed because of their fear?  Yes, some people broke a hip and have limited mobility but do they really need a walker for the rest of their life?  I am not talking about people who have MS or other clearly physical issues who need a walker.

You would think walking devices may be a hard sell to older adults. They’re associated with aging and dependence in an elderly person’s mind. Researchers have determined that mobility is the most important factor in an older person’s perceived health and well-being. So why would you want to lose your independence with a walker or cane when you don’t have to?

Yes, I know there are factors that can lead to problems with balance in older people include leg muscle weakness, illnesses, medication side effects, vision problems and problems with proprioception. Proprioception is the ability to know where your body’s position and movement is in relation to the environment. As we age, this sensory ability weakens, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something that can be do about it.  We do have the power to help ourselves get stronger and more mobile.

Yes, studies have shown that a walking aid will allow someone to do more, maintain their level of activities, if not increase them. People can typically walk further with assistive devices, which is also good for their overall health, but strengthening your muscles rather than relying on a walker goes a long way for your overall health and independence as well.

Did you know studies show that those using walkers perceive themselves to have lower physical functioning, poorer general health, and more role limitations due to physical problems than nonusers? Nurses have described the use of a walker as a stigma associated with old age, affecting an elderly person’s sense of identity and self-worth, and often resulting in a withdrawal from social interactions (Rush and Ouellet 1997).  So when doctors prescribe a walker first before exercise they are causing their patients to focus on their limited mobility, resulting in a perception of decreased health and quality of life.

Exercise and mobility and stability Interventions can delay or even eliminate the need for walkers in certain individuals.  Exercise, mobility and balance training is certainly less restrictive than walkers or canes.  Yes it is more work.  Yes you might have to spend some extra money on a gym membership or personal training sessions.  Isn’t independence worth it?

Why am I against the overuse of walkers or canes?  Using a walker stops people from practicing their normal gait.  Many walkers are not fitted properly to the patient so they patient ends up stooped and shuffling. A walker is a psychological crutch.  A walker should only be prescribed if there is no other option for reasonably safe mobility.

Even if you use a walker, it is important to wean yourself away from it by attending strength training classes or mobility and stability classes.  People too many times become dependent on the walker and not their own bodies.  Strengthening your body will help you become more confident in your capabilities and less fearful of falling and thus lead to a more independent life.

THE PROBLEM WITH PHYSICAL INACTIVITY

By Pauline Geraci, Owner Fit4Life Studio and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)

Do you know that physical inactivity is a fast-growing public health problem and contributes to a variety of chronic diseases and health complications, including obesity, diabetes and cancer. In addition to improving a patient’s overall health, increasing physical activity has proven effective in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases. Even with all the benefits of physical activity, there are still people around the world and right here on the Olympic Peninsula who don’t exercise at all! So here are the statistics again about physical inactivity:

  • According to the World Health Organization’s most recent Global Health Risks data (2004) after high blood pressure, tobacco use and high blood glucose, physical inactivity constitutes the 4th leading cause of death globally, with about 3.3 million attributed deaths per year. More recent evidence (2009) using direct measure, rather than survey data shows physical inactivity to be the leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • More than half of adults (56%) do not meet the recommendations for sufficient physical activity in the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.
  • In a study of older adolescents and adults in the U.S., participants spent almost eight hours a day in sedentary behaviors, while as much as 36% of adults engaged in no leisure-time physical activity at all.
  • A study in 2008 shows that physical inactivity costs the U.S. Health Care System $330 per person each year, which equals more than $102 billion dollars annually.
  • 40% of U.S. primary care doctors and 36% of US medical students do not meet 2008 federal physical activity guidelines. Physically inactive doctors are less likely to provide exercise counseling to patients and provide less credible role models for the adoption of healthy behaviors.Not surprisingly, only 34% of U.S. adults report having received exercise counseling at their last medical visit.

So what is our medical community right here on the Olympic Peninsula doing about their patients inactivity?  What are YOU doing about your inactivity?