Special Populations with Physical and Functional Limitations
It is widely accepted to link aging with degeneration and loss of functional capacity. Traditional methodology and programming of exercise protocols follow this logic and result in little or no impact to improve longevity and quality of life.
Common knowledge maintains that functional decline with age to be normal and it is irreversible. It is a prevailing notion in the medical and fitness industries that the ability to move for aging adults will be progressively deteriorating and it is not possible to restore functional body movement.
However, human anatomy and kinesiology literature clearly indicate that if one takes an effort to understand what a human body really needs and how it is designed to move to stay healthy a gradual physical and mental deterioration with age would be slowed down and the overall health can be improved.
Active lifestyle and regular exercise is heavily promoted but a proper attention to the scientific principles of functional anatomy and movement is largely overlooked. Typically, existing exercise programs for seniors follow the footsteps of the mainstream fitness by using weight machines, targeting isolated muscles and producing no results. Most importantly, they do not offer ways to sustain functional independence for basic daily tasks how to properly sit, stand, bend, carry and walk.
On one hand, walking is encouraged as an effective activity and the one that is easily sustained. However, conventional training does not offer programs to develop and maintain an efficient walking stride. On the other hand, walking without proper alignment and movement contributes to a further dysfunction of joints and muscles related to this activity. As a result, it leads to a loss of the ability to walk and complete or a heavy reliance on the assisting devices such as canes and wheelchairs.
Conventional guidelines recommend weight-supported exercise (swimming or cycling) to reduce the risk of injuries and preserve safety. However, a sufficient attention is not paid that these activities should be combined with to the exercises on land or the body will lose the ability to move against gravity.
General perception of doom and gloom leaves seniors with a feeling that they are a “forgotten” and “unwanted” population and it contributes further to psychological and emotional problems.
Lenny Levin is the founder of Wellness and Beyond and he started this business with the mission to rethink the current concepts to address the gaps and improve results related to fitness, health and wellness. His comprehensive approach produces dramatic outcomes across all ages and genders to restore functional movement and sustain independence including the special populations.
The experience from working with existing and former clients has demonstrated that a progress can be made to regain and sustain a functional quality of life and independence to perform daily tasks including individuals in their 80’s and 90’s. The programs offered by Wellness and Beyond focus on the body weight exercises to avoid targeting isolated muscle groups with a goal make the body segments work together and help clients fully embrace the concept that their own bodies are the “machines”.
Ballroom dancing can improve the overall functional capacity and has proven to provide a boost to address psychological and emotional problems associated with aging. Lenny Levin is a long-time ballroom dancer and working with of all ages dancing is available as an option to enhance the results during functional movement restoration.
Below are the video interviews of special population clients: