And you don’t have to take my word, or his; a study conducted on a group of patients with Parkinson’s that followed a program of resistance training demonstrated a significant reduction in Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (motor subscale (UPDRS-III)), and recommended resistance training as a useful therapy to improve Parkinsonian motor signs.
Sumi: Why did you decide to begin a strength program?
Bob: I began strength training and other exercising to keep my Parkinson’s / Scoliosis under control. I figured that the doctor’s request for physical therapy alone would not be as beneficial to my overall training. I have found PT folks tend to only treat the affected areas rather than the overall body.
Sumi: Do you see strength training as a necessary evil? Or something you enjoy?
Bob: I see strength training a tool for better mobility, agility and overall body conditioning. In discussions with my doctors I have received their approvals for all of the exercise programs I take part in.
I look forward, most days, to my weekly exercise program. Like anybody else, I have my days when I’d rather find an excuse not to challenge my body. The last few years I have been able to hold my current 183 lbs. I was a lot heaver ten to twelve years ago at one time, 245 lbs. back before I retired. Mostly by watching what I ate as well as portion control. No set diet.
Sumi: Have you seen changes and improvements since beginning with training?
Bob: Resistance training has brought better mobility and agility to my 70’s plus body. I feel more control overall body movements like bending, stooping, getting up from prone positions. As an extra bonus I have developed some rather awesome definition in my muscles.
Sumi: What do you think of other people your age group (70′s and above) beginning with strength training?
Bob: What makes sense to me? No matter what your medical history or if you have not exercised in a while, some basic strength training would ease some of the ache and pains we feel in our everyday life. Check with your doctor, they should have a better feel for what is best for you.
Stop telling yourselves you can’t. Think positive.
For example my collection of what has changed along the way trophy wise. I have a right knee total replacement, total left hip total replacement, Parkinson’s, level 4 Scoliosis and a heavy dose of arthritis.
Sumi: What do you look forward to most in a training session?
Bob: I like to establishing a good balance in upper and lower extremity exercise during the training session. Along with a good tendon and ligament stretching while warming up to feel limber.
Keep a good sense of humor, and let your trainer know if a certain exercise has caused undue strain on area on your body. A good working relationship between you and your trainer is very important part of the equation.
Sumi Singh is an Austin-based personal trainer with nearly 2 decades of experience in fitness. She holds specializations in pre-and post natal fitness, group fitness, and sports nutrition. She’s the author of Stay at Home Strong, a complete workout program for new moms. She’s also an online diet coach, a busy single mom, has set various world, National and state records as a powerlifter, and holds an BSc from Tufts, and a Masters from Duke University.