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The excuse of age and aches in avoiding senior exercise

August 31, 2015

I just had an interesting private lesson class with a husband and wife who are both in their upper 80’s.

The man who uses a walker has a huge fear of falling. I asked him if he knew why I as there.  He nodded and said, “But I am old and I hurt.  You know I have fallen, have a knee replacement”.

I told him that many of the senior I work with have new hips and knees, are cancer survivors,  suffer from arthritis and well, are just like him.

The wife is looking to get him walking better. She said, “I need to get him more independent so he can wait on me sometimes”, and laughed.  It was fun doing some testing with them, and having them say what will this or that exercise do for me, and then feel the muscles being used.

They seemed to grasp the idea of weight shifting and working on building strength, and how the two in combination would help their balance. Each of the movements worked to emphasize the points.

The man has lots of aches and pains and tried to use them as excuses.  Each exercise had at least one point where he said, “it aches here” (points with a finger).  I asked “ache or pain?”  “Ache” was the answer.  “Is it from the exercise or just there?” I asked.  “Just there”, he said.

The wife mentioned that he uses ‘pains’ to avoid doing anything he does not want to do and that his complaints were nothing new. The wife and I would have none of it so we kept him moving, working on a number of assessment exercisers and balance movements. After doing all the exercises he said, “I don’t feel any worse for it, and I may even feel a little better”.

We have liftoff!   Now to see if they actually do their homework and practice what they learned.

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