By PPT Personal Trainer, Katie Corrigan
We all know exercise is good for us.
Fat loss, fitness, strength, self-esteem and all that come with it.
Though we often are so focused on accomplishing that 120kg back squat and fitting into that size 10 dress from last summer; we easily forget the bigger picture. We’re all getting older, and will one day experience all that comes with it!
As part of my Diploma in Fitness, I was required to attend a nursing home once a week to assist with rehabilitation exercise programs.
During my 6 month stint, there are a couple of things I learnt:
1) I would do everything in my power to delay my time in a facility like that.
2) I was completely underappreciating my current health.
Just about every resident was on medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type II diabetes.
Point 1: ‘I would do everything in my power to delay my time in a facility like that.’
All the residents were completely dependent on external care. The biggest motivator for them was trying to gain some sort of independence. If they can get stronger in a sit to stand, they could assist the care team and possibly be able to get out of bed on their own. How goals change huh!
I often asked the residents what they did at my age, and a lot of the time for the females it was “look after the home”. Exercise wasn’t a norm in the past, but I often wondered, what if they were at the gym doing their Tuesday night Modified Strongman, PT twice a week and of course, Saturday morning MSM? Would they be so dependent, therefore suffering depression because of this dependence on the ‘care team’?
There are certain diseases that unfortunately no matter how you look after yourself, (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s etc.) may just get the better of you (which by the way, there is no studies that show exercise will induce these, I dare say as science progresses will show exercise as a preventative). But conditions like Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol are completely avoidable/manageable with exercise!
Looks like independence won’t be an issue for this young lady for some time!
Point 2: ‘I was completely underappreciating my current health.’
I was so focused on achieving a heavy back squat, a 4minute km run, (and if you’ve seen the goals board at PPT) a 60kg clean and jerk, I forgot to think about why! I want to be functionally fit and healthy.
Training is a privilege, I am grateful for all that my body does for me. I will repay it by working it hard, pushing it to it’s limits and getting that 120kg back squat. Exercising now, while fit, healthy and capable will repay me ten-fold in the future.
Though thinking about getting old is a tad depressing, it is a fact of life that unfortunately is unavoidable. The goals never stop………..they just change.
Oh, I forgot a third point of ‘what I learnt’. My favorite resident Violet (92 years young), when I asked, “Vi, what’s the secret?” She replied with“ Wake up every morning and smile”.