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HEROES: Fitness After Pain & Injury

Pain or injury may not be an option, but recovery is. 

I was talking with a member of our gym who was having some health issues last week. She was extremely discouraged about what she believed to be the inability to workout due to her latest ailment. I could see despair in her eyes. In this particular case, the only exercise she knew to do was the bicycle. This was extremely difficult for her to accept after many years of exercising and taking aerobics classes. She was basically ready to give up.

So many people allow an injury to set them back for life. Instead of slowing down, or changing up their exercise plan to work around their issue, they just quit. Quitting isn’t an option.

The thought of my member’s discouragement rocked me. I wondered how many other people have had the same thoughts and problems but didn’t ask for help. It is easy to use an injury or health problem as a good excuse to quit exercising. In my experience, most people really honestly believe they have no other choice but to give up.

If only the general public knew there are ways to work around health issues – and even improve them. Many times there are specific exercises which can help someone recover, or at least better cope, with their condition – ultimately improving the quality of their life. If this wasn’t the case, physical therapist wouldn’t exist.

Know Limits = No Limits
In this member’s situation, there were still plenty of exercises she could have done. Often times, even someone bound to a wheelchair can still do some type of exercise, working around their limitations. We have a member who comes in regularly, in her wheelchair, to train with one of our trainers. He has her doing laps down our sidewalk, and numerous other exercises, to keep her heart and lungs strong and her active body as fit as possible.

Unfortunately, when our body begins to break down, we mentally break down. We quit believing in our own ability to perform – or even survive. We allow our own doubts and lack of knowledge to dictate what we think we can and cannot do. When we experience pain, we are afraid to try anything in fear of making things worse. Ironically, the reality is there is even more risk in giving up and staying sedentary.

I am here to tell you fitness believes in you. I believe in you. Let me encourage you. Even if your body gives up on you, never, never, never give up on your body.

6 Stretches to Relieve Common Aches & Pains

1. Quadriceps Stretch – Helps relieve knee pain
2. Hamstring Stretch – Helps improve posture while sitting and low back pain
3. Buttocks Stretch – Helps relieve sciatica and leg pain
4. Calves Stretch – Helps relieve pain from plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
5. Chest Stretch High – Helps reduce back and shoulder pain due to forward posture
6. Side Neck Stretch – Helps improve neck pain and tightness

They Never Gave Up – When there’s a will, there’s a way

Most of us will find our ailments are small compared to these success stories:

Aaron ‘Wheelz’ Fotheringham (has spina bifida and has been in a wheelchair since he was 8 years old)

Jillanna “Mel” Curry, 49, who has won both gold and silver medals in United States Tennis Association Wheelchair Tennis Championships (lost her leg after discovering blood clots

Nadya Vessey had a mermaid tail crafted for her so she could swim after having both her legs amputated.

Bob Siudak lost leg to cancer.

Catherine “Cat” Hammes, 45yr old woman lost her leg in a motorycycle accident

Amy Purdy had less than a 2 percent chance of being diagnosed with Bacterial Meningitis. After losing both legs, getting a kidney transplant, and battling other life-threatening health issues, Amy pledged to move on and attain goals even people with 2 legs struggle to achieve.

Now what’s your excuse?

FREE WORKSHOP
Reserve your spot in our Free Pain Prevention Educational and Interactive Workshop: Tuesday, February 28th at 11:00am with Steve Pfiester at Max Fitness Club, 970 14th Lane, Vero Beach, Florida 32960. Call 772-778-7867 to make your free reservation and walk away with more hope and knowledge.

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Get Fit Now: Why Procrastination Stinks

“We all have garbage to deal with. You can chose to handle it now or later – the choice is yours.”

Desperate paparazzi catches poor Jessica Biel in her robe taking out the trash. Wow. Are we really shocked that stars have garbage too? We seem just as surprised when they have other life problems as well. Ironically, garbage and our physical, as well as mental, problems have a lot in common.

My dad once gave me some great advice about life, and not handling the “garbage” we carry. He said, “It’s like trash. You can just let it pile up and packing stuff on top of it, but eventually it’s gonna start to stink and you’ll have to deal with it.”

Life is truly like that – especially with our health. We can ignore the trash in our lives – our weight, health, weakness, tight muscles, poor diet and inactivity. No matter how we cover it up with nice clothes, fancy cars, money, pretty make-up and a fake smile, eventually you won’t be able to hide it, and life will start to really stink.

It is so easy to procrastinate. It’s so easy to push it back and let something else take priority. But, our bodies talk, and believe me, it will start screaming at you eventually. We can fool ourselves into thinking our back pain will go away, our weight will come off, and “we’ll kick this”, but what exactly are you really doing about it today? Are you just covering up the stench or are you really dealing with it? So often we do things to mask the problem, or to help us live with the problem, but we aren’t handling the problem.

4 Steps to Dealing with the Garbage Affecting Our Health:

1. What stinks? As you read this, what things come to mind that you know you need to get a grip on? Make a list. Is it your weight? Is it pain? Is it confidence? Is it your overall health? Is it a lack of discipline to maintain a consistent fitness regimen? You can’t fix it until you know what needs to be fixed.

2. How do you handle it? Some trash isn’t stinky, but it sill has to be taken out. On the other hand, some trash stinks so bad, you need to get it as far away from your house as possible. How bad is the “garbage” you have to deal with? Can you deal with it yourself or do you need a hazmat team to contain the situation? Some things can be handled on your own, but other issues require a pro. Beware of trying to handle heavy stuff alone.

3. How long will you commit to maintaining it? We all know that taking the garbage out once is not enough. We get NEW garbage that will have to be delt with too. It’s really unrealistic to think this will be a simple fix and not require maintenance. As you work on one problem, don’t be surprised if another problem pops up. Just add it to the list and work on it too, knowing in the end result will be a clean bill of health.

4. What are things that need to be tossed out? A lot of us have extra garbage we deal with because we are not letting go of crap that clutters our lives. Not only will you need to work on stuff that stinks, but sometimes things need to go that are either getting in the way, are useless, or are hindering you. The first step is to “clean house” of food, people, bad habits, excuses, etc. that will interfere with your plan. Just like cleaning house, it’s constant. Success will require a continual cleaning and straightening of priorities.

Don’t Procrastinate:

Don’t wait for the perfect conditions, the perfect situation, more money, more time, less pain, more energy, more motivation, friends, kids to grow up, workload to get lighter, or anything else to start working on your health.

“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.
If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.”
Ecclesiastes 11:4

Note on Pain: Many aches and pains are due to weak and tight muscles. Unfortunately, many people avoid exercise in fear of making it worse. Pain rarely goes away on its own, and often gets much worse. Even many skeletal issues are due to muscles pulling you out of whack. As you strengthen weak muscles and loosen tight muscles, your skeletal system won’t have all these tweaked muscles yanking on them. There are SO many pains that would go away just from stretching alone, but the combination of strengthening and stretching literally can be a miracle worker.

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