1. Seniors and stability. According to Andre Gremillion from the Medical Exercise Training Institute in Katy, Texas: “To start reversing the cycle of pain, weakness and instability in the legs, hold onto a chair for balance and perform knee bends, within your pain-free range of motion, taking 5 to 10 seconds to complete each of 12 to 15 repetitions on a daily basis.”
2. Scoliosis. Scoliosis is an abnormal lateral curvature of the spine. People that have scoliosis are often prescribed specific exercises to reduce or stabilize the curvature of their spine by a qualified rehabilitation specialist. Full body strength and endurance training along with functional fitness activity helps maintain (or improve) levels of daily function while undergoing a specific treatment program.
3. 10,000 Steps per day. Walking 10,000 steps per day for fitness is an arbitrary number that was chosen by a marketing company to sell pedometers in Japan before the 1964 Olympics. While it can be motivating to “get your steps in,” there is no scientific basis for hitting that number.
4. Exercise is a game changer. A study following 191 Swedish women over a 44-year period found that the women who exercised more and had high levels of cardiovascular fitness were 88 per cent less likely to develop dementia, and if they did, they developed it 11 years later than a “medium” fitness group.
5. Channelling anger. Federal parole officer Rod Foster told us about the role of exercise in managing anger, frustration and stress in prison and how this can be applied to anyone looking for more control in their lives. A release of chemicals in the brain occurs during exercise that reduces an individual’s perception of pain while triggering joyful, positive feelings and diminishing angry feelings and despair.
6. Managing grief. After losing both of my parents within a six-week span, working out gave me a sense of control when it felt like my world was spinning away from me. As you move through the grieving process, exercise can help you regain motivation for work and other social commitments, and evidence suggests that it is an essential activity for getting through trying times.
7. Exercise and anxiety. Dr. Jason Profetto of Stoney Creek prescribes working out as a treatment for managing anxiety, urging anxious patients to choose specific days or times during the week to just do “something” without worrying too much about structure until a habit has been formed. From this modest beginning, the good feelings and benefits of exercise tend to snowball and have a positive effect on the rest of one’s life.
8. Getting up from the floor. Several of my clients find it very challenging to get down on the floor and then back up again. There are four specific physical requirements that can be addressed in workouts to make the task easier: strong, stable muscles in the core and the back of the arms; flexibility in the hips and lower back; power in the thighs and buttocks; and pulling strength in the upper back.
9. Age 50 limitations. After examining an online article that listed a series of exercises that people over 50 should NEVER do (allegedly), I outlined three moves that are essential for everyone over 50 to add to their regimen: single leg floor touches for balance and strength; pushups to develop upper body, lower body, core and hip stability; and standing abdominal rotations using a medicine ball or resistance band.
10. Mindset. Sometimes people with a condition or disability limiting their physical capabilities will cut back on all activity as they focus on the things that they can no longer do. With a shift in mindset, they can learn to embrace new opportunities and thrive in new ways, adapting to the challenges that they are faced with. When you build upon your strengths, your weaknesses become less impactful.
Happy holidays, everyone! … see you in 2019.