Our team recently set up at the Frederick County Elder Expo to promote fitness for seniors and active aging. The Frederick Elder Expo gets hundreds of visitors each year and there are booths for all types of resources. It’s a great event and resource to the Frederick County senior community.
There were several things that surprised me as the people filed past our booth. I was shocked at how many people commented “I don’t need you yet” or some negative comment about exercise in general. Bernie and I just shook our heads. You see we both had extensive experience in home health physical therapy and all we could think was “see you in a few years in PT” Its unfortunate that people have not yet embraced the PREVENTIVE benefits of regular exercise! Why would you wait until you were falling apart before starting an exercise program? Of course we were there to promote the business and the one on one personal training service we provide. However, we also had educational materials on exercise guidelines and the benefits for adults over 55. We realize personal training is not for everyone and we are more than happy to point people in the direction of the YMCA, the local senior center or the local hospitals medically supervised exercise program if that better meets their needs, as long as they do something. Its never too early to start being more active! Don’t wait until moving becomes difficult before making it an important part of your life.
We also had the pleasure to chat with a lovely lady who exercises regularly at the local rec center. She was from Cuba and when she would say my team mate’s name, Bernadette, it rolled off her tongue like the name a of a sexy bombshell from the 1920s. She was delightful. After speaking with her for a bit about her home and her exercise program, she mentioned her husband, whom has dementia. She said, several times a day she would get him up and have him walk 2-3 laps to the door and back with his walker. Then she would have him sit, out of fear of him falling. Then she said “But you couldn’t work with him….” Um YES!!!! Yes, that is exactly who we specialize in! Unless the doctor says no exercising we can work with most anyone. In fact that is our super power, our zone of genius! Working with older adults with medical issues or who are becoming frail…walkers, wheelchair, bed bound, we can work with them! Frail, home bound, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke, we can work with them!! These are the clients we love to serve. Its not too late! Can we work miracles and make them 25 again? No, of course not. Can we improve their strength and balance? Can we be a bright spot in their day? Can we reduce their stiffness from immobility? Most likely YES!
So the lesson here is, its never too early to start. Don’t wait until you fall to work on balance. Don’t wait until you have trouble getting out of a chair to work on your strength. And….its never too late! Even if you or your loved one may have a health condition, may use a walker or wheel chair, exercise is for you! Its especially for you.