Guest Blog: Exercise and Activity in Old Age

By October 16, 2013Healthy Aging

This week our guest bloggers are Chris and Roya Corpuz of Reneu Health, Inc.

Here’s Chris and Roya!

My husband started Reneu Health, Inc. in 2010.  We are both Kinesiologists dedicated to serving the 55+ community in San Diego and Orange County.  Our mission is to change the way that society views activity and exercise in “old age.”  It seems that the general attitude is that we deteriorate with old age, therefore we cannot possibly safely or reasonably participate in an exercise program.  Fortunately, we see individuals every single day that challenge this belief, and show us that activity and exercise are in fact the best things we can do for ourselves as we age.

I won’t get too much into the physiology of exercise, in spite of the fact that it is compelling evidence of the benefits that exercise has on the body.  I want to talk more about the daily benefits of staying active as we age.  At Reneu Health, Inc. we provide one-on-one training aimed at fall prevention, stroke recovery, Parkinson’s symptom management, and the many physical challenges that seniors face in and out of their homes on a daily basis.  Most of our clients have come to us because the activities of daily living have become more difficult, and in some cases impossible due to physical or cognitive decline.  In worse cases, clients are sent to us because they have already suffered an injury or illness due to their slow decline and inactivity.  This leads to a decrease in strength, balance, endurance, flexibility, and overall quality of life.  It is important to know that these negative effects are preventable and in many cases reversible!

We see clients with varying levels of physical and cognitive ability, and there is not one who would tell you that exercise has had a negative effect on their quality of life.  We have clients in their 80’s, 90’s, and yes even 100’s, who are still making progress on a weekly basis.  My hope is that sharing these success stories will change the mentality that inactivity and decline is a part of aging, when really we age faster as a result of inactivity!

When we first started working with D., she was recovering from a fall that fractured her hip.  In addition to the physical challenges of recovering from such an injury, she was experiencing progressing dementia.  After submitting our physicians release form to clear her for our one-on-one, personalized exercise program, we received a note from her doctor.  The document stated, “You are welcome to try an exercise program, but I highly doubt it will make a difference because she is 89 years old.”  It was truly disheartening to hear this attitude from a physician, but it was no deterrent for us.  D. ended up being proof that physical activity can increase physical and cognitive well being.  In just a few short months she was standing up with minimal assistance, transferring with minimal assistance, and performing specific exercises by memory twice a week.  Not only was D. becoming more alert and aware during our sessions, but at home as well!  Her son shared the experience with us of losing his Mom to dementia.  He said that she had not been “present” in a long time, and that it was difficult to lose that relationship with her.  To our delight, he said that she had recently asked him how he was handling his busy work schedule, as well as all of the responsibilities in the house.  Her increased awareness made him feel like he got a part of her back, and that was more than we could have asked for.

I think it is important to note that the body only adapts and heals when you provide a stimulus, or a challenge.  Physical activity challenges the mind and body to adapt and change, to become stronger and more efficient.  Similarly, inactivity leads to atrophy in the mind and body, because there is no stimulus to bring about a response.

Please join us in taking control of your health, regaining the ability to enjoy daily tasks, and preventing negative outcomes due to inactivity.

At Reneu Health, Inc. we provide one-on-one, specialized, in-home exercise programs for the 55+ community.  Our programs are tailored to each client’s unique level of ability and health challenges. Please contact us if you know anyone who can benefit from our services.  Together we can improve the quality of life as we age.

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