Questions & Answers
Click on a question below to reveal the answer. If you don’t see your questions on this page, contact us for an expert response…
I am still in rehab, can I exercise with you?
Yes, most definitely. We can work with your rehab team to develop a program specifically designed for you and your needs whether you are recuperating from hip surgery, knee replacement, back or shoulder surgery. When you are ready to be discharged from therapy we will contact your therapist as we work together to progress you to the next stage of your program. Continuity of exercise will prevent possible relapse and make for a better outcome.
I ache every morning, I have arthritis, can exercise help?
Yes, according to the Arthritis Foundation, exercise is especially advantageous in regards to the joints. Joint movement transports nutrients and waste products to and from the cartilage, the material which protects the ends of the bones. Moving the joints daily helps to keep them fully mobile. Added joint support is achieved by strengthening the surrounding muscles. We would create a safe program specifically for you that includes range of motion, resistance and flexibility and combined with endurance (cardio). We can also recommend aquatic and yoga exercises.
Can I exercise if I have heart problems?
Yes, after getting clearance from your physician as to what s/he will allow; we would suggest a specific cardio/endurance program that might include walking, circuit training, using a recumbent bike or swimming. Just like lifting weights for your muscles, consistent cardio exercise can strengthen your heart and change how your heart functions for the better. Researchers found that people who did three total-body weight workouts per week for two months decreased their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by an average of eight points. That’s enough to reduce the risk of a stroke by 40 percent and the chance of a heart attack by 15 percent. Click here to read “Here’s to Your Heart! blog post.
Can regular exercise help my depression?
A review of studies stretching back to 1981 concluded that regular exercise can improve mood in people with mild to moderate depression and may play a supporting role in treating severe depression. Another study, in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1999, divided 156 men and women with depression into three groups. One group took part in an aerobic exercise program, another took the SSRI sertraline (Zoloft) and a third did both. At the 16-week mark, depression had eased in all three groups. About 60%–70% of the people in all three groups could no longer be classed as having major depression. In fact, group scores on two rating scales of depression were essentially the same. This suggests that for those who need and wish to avoid drugs, exercise might be an acceptable substitute for antidepressants. Keep in mind, though, that the swiftest response occurred in the group taking antidepressants and that it can be difficult to stay motivated to exercise when you’re depressed. A follow-up to that study found that exercise’s effects lasted longer than those of antidepressants. They found that the people who exercised regularly after completing the study, regardless of which treatment they were on originally, were less likely to relapse into depression. Besides lifting your mood, regular exercise offers other health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, protecting against heart disease and cancer and boosting self-esteem. How often or intensely you need to exercise to alleviate depression is not clear, but for general health, experts advise getting half an hour to an hour of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, on all or most days of the week.
Can I just walk and forget the rest?
It is true, walking is one of the best exercises you can do for your overall health; however, you need to do more. We follow the guidelines of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and American Heart Association (AHA). We will design a program specifically for you that includes strength, flexibility and balance.
How much physical activity is enough?
The ACSM and AHA recommend the following for healthy 50 plus year old adults:
- Do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity OR
- Do 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity OR
- Do an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
For healthy 65+ year-olds, the recommendations are:
- Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week OR
- Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week AND
- Do eight to 10 strength-training exercises, eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week.
Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.
How do I gauge my level of exercise?
Take the “Talk Test”. This is a simple check of whether an individual can talk easily during exercise. Someone performing moderate-intensity exercise should be able to talk, though not sing or carry on a full discussion, during activity. Individuals performing vigorous-intensity exercise should not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath.
I don’t like to exercise, but know I must.
I know how you feel, I used to feel the same. But remember, the more you sit around the more tired and discouraged you get. Boost your mood and energy level. For instance, we can show you simple and fun ways to move and you won’t even think it is exercise. Or simply use the steps more often when you can, park your car away from your destination and walk, get a buddy who is comparable to your level and walk. Find any activity that gets you moving.
I am not very patient, how long will it take until I see a difference in my body?
Depending upon how much time you want to invest in looking and feeling great, give yourself six to 10 weeks and then you will notice the difference. In the initial conditioning stages, it might be best have us help establish safe goals and get you started on the right path by designing a program with the proper volume, mode and intensity. We can teach you how to monitor your performance, to establish and keep you within safe, but effective limits. You should work progressively as your conditioning (established by baseline testing and evaluations) improves. Every effort should be made to make your program as much FUN as possible, by relating your exercises directly to your interests and goals.
I like to exercise, but I don’t want to become too muscular.
I understand, with what we do there is too much repetition to be concerned with bulking up. We use lighter weights and do two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions for each strength exercise for your upper and lower body.
I am afraid of falling, can you help?
Yes. We would initially assess your fall risk and mobility then develop a progressive routine. You can take our Balance Profile Quiz as a way to get started. As part of your program, we would incorporate postural coordination, flexibility, core and strength exercises to improve your balance thus reducing your fall risk.
I take a variety of medications; won’t that interfere with my exercise?
Your physician or pharmacist can determine how your medications will affect your program and outcomes. All medications have side effects. You just need to be aware of them. Since all clients are assessed prior to starting a program, we review this information with you. We will also ask you complete a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q), because your safety is of utmost importance to us. Other items include:
- When necessary, we will check your vital signs, i.e. blood pressure and pulse, before, during and after exercise. This will serve as an initial guide as to whether you should proceed with exercise, modify or intensify, stop the program or arrange for medical intervention.
- Review symptoms, changes and complaints of discomfort in response to exercise.
- Hydration: It is recommended before, during and after exercise. Given the potential for dehydration with antihypertensive medications – coupled with fluid loss (perspiration) from exercising – it is important.
- Monitoring exercise intensity appropriately based on medication and physiological response.
- When performing resistance training, we use lighter weights if you are hypertensive.
- Correct exercise techniques including stretching, posture and form when performing resistance training is taught to avoid any future increase in blood pressure or injury. For example, we will not place your legs above your heart or raising weights above your head and doing isometric exercises that are held longer than five – six seconds.
- Using the utmost caution when working with our clients on anti-coagulant therapy, to reduce the risk of bumps and bruises.
- Providing gradual warm-up exercises, movements and proper cool-down exercises to allow your body to acclimate and prevent injury.
- Organizing exercise sessions with as few positional changes as possible to increase safety and decrease injury.
I don’t like to eat breakfast before I work out, can I just skip it?
You know how mom used to always say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, guess what? She was right! When it comes to realizing that breakfast is the fuel that keeps us running throughout the day, you’ll be surprised to know how your body can change if you take the time to eat this important meal. The fuel that keeps our motors running is glucose. Your brain and your nervous system need glucose to work: that means walking, speaking, stretching, typing – any activity requires this fuel. If you don’t supply it, your system resorts to finding stored carbohydrates or it tries to turn fat into glucose. Why put your body through all this? Instead, do what your mom used to say and eat that breakfast!
My dad was diagnosed with beginning stage Alzheimer’s; I hear aerobic exercise would be good for him.
Yes, that is very true. There is no proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, research provides some of the strongest evidence that regular exercise can protect the brain — and even improve cognitive performance — in older adults showing signs of mental decline. We work with clients with cognitive impairment every day; it just takes patience and perseverance. We start as we do with any new client, with an assessment, then develop a routine that is aerobic in nature and includes other non-aerobic exercise activities to round out the program. Please review our CLIENT POLICY.