Exercising in Today’s World

by Paula Allia PT, DHSc, MTC, OCS

Exercising one’s mind and body is a part of life for many. It also has a different meaning individually. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot has changed.

People went from not worrying about it to realizing that it can have a huge impact on one’s life. COVID-19 has changed the way we all have lived over the past 8 months.

Now, numbers of cases continue yet we all strive to try and live normally but with precautions. Participating in exercise in some form can help the mind and body survive all of this stress.

Exercise is a part of many people’s lives. In Naples there is no doubt that many in this aging population understand that both cardiovascular and weight training exercises help to maintain and even improve the body when done right.

What is right for one may be different than what is best for another. One thing is for sure, there is evidence to support that exercising in the forms of both cardiovascular and weight training contribute to a healthier body both mentally and physically.

When done in the correct amounts, increased blood flow from exercising regularly increases the good cholesterol (HDLs) and lowers triglycerides. Also, the immune system can be enhanced and stress can be reduced as long as one works within the proper level of exercise for them.

Staying at home and not participating in regular exercise can limit the use of muscles that work in different planes of our body.

Walking uses muscles that propel us both forward and backwards but do not assist us as much for side to side and rotational movements. These muscles are particularly important for balance and equilibrium.

Back in March Naples started to close their doors due to this pandemic. Temporary situations are still not back to normal but we are all trying to get there. There should be no more delay in getting back or even starting weight training and cardiovascular exercise NOW.

Everybody has different levels of strength, balance, coordination, and of course cardiovascular health. Balance is controlled in the part of the brain called the cerebellum. There is input from the eyes, ears, and a lot of sensorimotor information that is transferred to the brain with a response that tells the muscles and joints how to react.

If all of the systems are not working normally, then one may have problems walking on different terrain or transitioning from a driveway to grass or sand.

Do NOT let this system weaken as getting the right stimulus to keep the body at your optimum is essential!

Fitness facilities were forced to close at the end of March. This had a big impact on the Naples’ community. Providing physical therapy and personal training to local clients, something had to be done to keep helping people maintain some sense of normalcy.

Fitness Together in downtown Naples had been providing virtual training sessions for years for clients that leave for the summer months. So why not offer this training to local clients since they could no longer go into a fitness studio.

Thus, this summer trend started early and today many continue with this method of training. Now, there are different choices as facilities are open and precautions are being taken so that all of our lives can once again flourish!

Exercise sessions whether in person or virtually can be seamless and should be considered by all.

Workouts including the whole body can get the blood pumping, the muscles working, and the mind focusing on what is good. All aspects of exercise can provide us all with positive reinforcement. We are all in need of this at this time. Progress can get kick-started again!

When able, people will return to our fitness studio but we will continue to use caution to protect ourclients. The new normal will include the exercise that you need, the proper cleaning of equipment, the proper distancing to follow the CDC guidelines, and the encouragement to push through this.

Now, both in house and virtual training can include participation by all. Everybody has different needs so making the right decision has many options. Most people like the person to person training and this brings us back to normal for many.

If people are not fully secure with this option, virtual training can continue indefinitely. The biggest obstacle to virtual training for some is the technology. It really is easy to learn. Typically, setting it up ahead of time can make each person feel at ease.

So even if life is getting back to a more normal, we still may have a new normal for a while. Everybody should learn to work with a trainer to protect the health and well-being of the body, mind, and spirit.

Here’s To Your Health!

For more information, please call Fitness Together at 239-263-9348to help. FT will help get you the equipment you need to get up and running.

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