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Total Body Fitness Matters
Part 1 of 1
By: Jackie Wright

To provide three great examples of why total body fitness matters, consider the following:

  • Example Client #1 - unable to get down to the floor and rise back up without assistance.
  • Example Client #2 - no longer able to reach items on a shelf reachable two years ago.
  • Example Client #3 - could not ski this year due to a dysfunctional knee joint.

What does each of these three clients have in common? Their total body fitness levels have deteriorated either due to having surgery and then not following proper rehabilitative protocols, sustaining injuries that went unaddressed or simply being sedentary. All of these situations may lead to loss of function at the specific problem site and loss of total body fitness as a result.

Because every client is an individual, generalizations are not a good idea. However, these three scenarios are common place, and not just in the aging population. So, how may we help them return to an acceptable total body fitness level? Check out the three approaches described below and avoid that downward spiral. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Example Client #1

Could not get down to or rise up from the floor without assistance. This was due to not complying with their physician and physical therapist following knee replacement surgery. Therefore, loss of mobility in the hip/knee/ankle joints, and a deterioration of their total body fitness have occurred leading to tremendous physical dysfunction.

What's the solution? They committed to consistently attending well designed training sessions which addressed all of their total body fitness needs as well as specific attention paid to strengthening their lower body and a supplemental in-home program. The take away - be a compliant patient during rehabilitation and client during post rehabilitation perhaps avoiding this level of dysfunction and loss of fitness.

Example Client #2

Could no longer reach a shelf reachable two years ago. Although there was no specific injury, they had become inactive, creating a loss of strength/flexibility in the shoulder complex and subsequent loss of general fitness (i.e. if you don't use it, you lose it!).

What's the solution? They committed to consistently attending well designed training sessions addressing their sedentary lifestyle as well as the specific limitations of the shoulder complex. The take away - if you can do it, do it; it you cannot, then determine why and proactively address the problem because the less you do, the less you can do and the less you want to do, leading to Client #2's dilemma.

Example Client #3

Could not ski this season without knee pain. Previous stresses to the knee joint from participating in sports throughout their lives, lack of strengthening the lower body and core adequately and then a re-injury to the knee joint have led to this outcome.

What's the solution? They committed to attending well designed training sessions addressing the issues with the knee joint and their total body fitness level. The take away - as soon as the knee injury/pain begins, have the problem evaluated by a medical expert in that specific part of the body and assess the problem. Then, begin treatment immediately.

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