Dementia and Exercise

13 Feb

Dementia and Exercise

Meet John.

Personal Training Client since 2016.

At 75 years of age he suffers from “Dementia-Like” Memory Loss.

Alternate Leg Up on 1/2 Ball

Meet John 🙂 We've been working together since 2016. What you may not know is that at 75 years of age he suffers from memory loss (not specifically diagnosed as Dementia). As you can clearly see his balance and mobility is looking great on this half ball. He's an inspiration to those managing similar syptoms and those suffering Dementia-like symptoms.I'm very proud of him for remaining active. He's a pleasure to work with as he's very strong and always smiling. "He has more confidence going down the stairs. I can see it." His wife told me today.Keep up the good work John!

Posted by All Fit All Ages Gym on Tuesday, February 13, 2018

We all know it affects memory and mobility. As you can clearly see his balance and mobility is looking great on this half ball.  The Doctors haven’t specifically diagnosed John as having Dementia. I refer to it as “dementia-like”. He does have memory loss and has a hard time remembering specific details. He’s highly functional when I ask him to demonstrate an exercise. He’s been managing these issues for a few years now. His wife brought him to meet me a few years ago. Reading one of my articles in the local newspaper, she expressed to me that she wanted to help her husband.

            There’s something quite interesting about working with John. He’s fully functional. He’s fully mobile. He’s very strong. My experience taught me that I had to start with the bare basics. I wanted to examine if he’d remember specific movement patterns.

John’s Program Jan 2017

My purpose was to gradually incorportate multi-joint exercises. Why? Integrated movement with arms and legs posed more of a mental challege for John. In simple terms, I wanted to get him off machines as much as possible. Machines were a great way to develop strength. I wanted to make his brain work a little harder.

Exercise Program 2018

        Between 2017 and 2018 you can tell I’ve added a few things. If you’re not an exercise professional, some it may look like Greek to you. The purpose was to show how in fact an exercise program must evolve in order to benefit someone. Even if John didn’t have these issues, I’d still be looking for ways to challenge him. The disease is irrelevant to me quite honestly. I look at the functionality of the the individual. I seek to improve what he finds challenging or at least make it more manageable so he doesn’t decline.

        The biggest lesson I’ve learned is this. Exercise will not cure those who have Dementia. It’s unrealistic to say otherwise as an educated professional. His wife mentioned to me today, “I noticed his confidence going down the stairs. I can see it.” While it may be a small feat to you and I, what this means for John and his wife is a better quality of life. It’s truly the little things that mean the most. I must give credit to John’s wife who keeps him active on a daily basis. That’s part of his success as well.

Movement matters!

The body and mind are intimately connected. Therefore if one thing suffers, so does the other. I firmly believe in exercise for those managing neuroligcal issues such as Dementia. If your loved one is still functional and mobile , then he/she has every ability to stay that way. John could be anyone. He could be your spouse or your neighbor. He could be the bank teller or the postman. The point is that Dementia has many faces and many facets. Whomever you might be, there is hope to manage this disease. Exercise can be a big part of that.

Just look at John.

Better Late Than Never

13 Feb


Better Late Than Never

Can exercise really benefit me at my age?”

Here’s Beth at 85!

Beth has met with my dad for the past eight years, three times a week. Not only is she a dedicated client, she’s also the familiar face that greets our morning group. At 85, she’s a hard working woman with a strong spirit. Beth didn’t have any experience in a gym before she joined us in 2008. She uses a walker to get around, but aside from that manages to exercise over an hour. It’s impressive because she can walk half an hour on the treadmill. Taking the odd break, she’s always determined to finish.

My dad takes her through a strength training program, carefully walking with her from one station to the next. “Ten more” I hear him say, “Great job sweetie.” Beth is always smiling and has such a sharp sense of humour. If I put that extra bit of weight on the machine, she always smiles at me coyly and says, “Ten more right? I thought you’d say that.” She’s strong and stubborn.

Priorities are certainly different as you age. Maintaining mobility and independence is often a goal with those we work with. If you’re like many of these individuals, you may not have any experience in the gym. You also may have many health issues.

The good news is you’re not alone. The majority of people we work with are in the same boat. Exercise can help if prescribed properly. A quality exercise program will improve your quality of life outside of the gym.


So my answer to the above question is this:

Yes! It’s never too late to start.

Published May 5th 2016

Scugog Standard Newspaper

The Danger of Going Digital: Exercise Online

12 Feb

What’s the Real danger of Going Digital?

Not all online work outs are created equal.

Not all online work outs are designed by trained professionals.

Who is Really Designing Your Workout?
Fitness videos seem like a great idea. Go to You Tube. Click on a video and away you go….

Most fitness workouts are easily accessible on You Tube and often don’t come with a price tag. As a personal trainer for fifteen years I’ve seen the industry evolve.  Not only does going digital threaten my income, in many ways it undermines what it takes years to learn. Not all work outs are created equal. Not all work outs are designed by trained professionals. This is the ingherent danger of going digital.

The truth about the fitness industry is that it is not regulated for saftety. Anyone and Everyone can come up with some gimmick that MAY work for the consumer. If you have a look at infomercials touting the latest exercise equipment for example. Most of the people who design the products have zero experience as an exercise professional. We have no governing body that regulates the saftey of the particular product. What does this have to do with online fitness workouts? Absolutely everything!

Exercise is about constant dedication to learning.

My logic is that if no one is regulating the content being put out there, how can you be assured it’s safe? You can’t. Any person on the street can come up with a work out and it’s put out there on a global platform.  The biggest concern is that when an online work out is designed, it’s designed for the general public. It MAY work for some. What if you’re doing the work out wrong? There’s no one regulating if you do it properly. You’re looking at a video that is mass marketed. In my vast experience I’ve learned this:


One Workout Does Not Fit All

Why is it expected that one workout will work for everyone? It doesn’t! Trainers such as myself take it upon themselves to learn about exercise. Its not something that takes one week end or one year. It takes constant dedication to learning. Designing an exercise program is not a matter of taking pen to paper. You can’t just design a program and say, “Here, now everyone try it.” Any client I work with has different needs. Different health concerns. Therefore the exercise program should be aligned with an individuals needs.

I have no issue someone wanting to improve their health. If you choose to use online content just beware. Not every program is desgined by professionals. Not every work out is a good one. Do your homework and talk to a professional in-person. Your safety and wellbeing is THE most important. Please don’t take it for granted.

Here’s to your health!


Top Five Secrets to Know Before Joining a Gym.

10 Feb

         Ever pay for a gym membership and never use it?

You’re motivated. You’re excited. You never show up.
Next thing you know, your membership is up and your money is gone.

You are what a gym calls “The Perfect Member.” One who buys a membership and never shows up. Congratulations! You’re amongst many who’ve suffered the same fate. Maybe you’re wondering what to do about it. I’ve helped run a gym for fifteen years. I’ve seen too many people get burned and I’d like to help you avoid the pitfalls when buying a membership.

Here’s my top five secrets to know before joining a a gym:

1) If the deal is too good to be true, odds are it is.

        If something sounds too perfect, there’s always a catch. Gym’s are notorious for trying to pull the wool over your eyes. “Sign Up for $1.00 a month” is a promo I’ve seen before. Let’s remember that most facilities are trying to get you in the door. Their goal is sales. What they don’t tell you is that this deal won’t last forever. When this particular promotion ends, what is it REALLY going to cost you per month?

 2) Beware of Salespeople.

      Here’s an inside secret that large facilities don’t divulge: They teach trainers to SELL! SELL! SELL!  Personal Trainers have a monthly quota to reach. Sales is the art of persuasion. Don’t let them persuade you to buy services that you don’t need. Former employees who worked for larger facilities told me so. They had to attend daily sales meetings. “Let’s get selling!” Is the business motto.

3) Talk to Current Members

Before you invest in a gym, talk to long time members. They are your best source of unbiased feedback. These people aren’t trying to sell you anything. If members like the facility, they’ll say so. A personal training course can be completed over one week end. Keep in mind, just because they have the certification doesn’t mean they have the experience. Ask to speak with previous clients. Do your homework first!

4) Look in the Corners

Your gym is one of the cleanest I’ve ever been in. You can see it. Even in the corners.”  

Clean machines? Are they maintained regularly?

Cleanliness is a huge deal to a lot of people. The last thing anyone wants to walk in to is a gross, smelly changeroom. Have a look at the small details. Any facility that takes pride in it’s cleanliess will get in to places most members would never see. Are the floors dirty? Is there dust on the equipment? Are the mirrors clean? Has the garbage been taken out? Are the soap dispensers refilled? Owners take pride in their gym. It speaks volumes about their character otherwise.

Neat and organized is the way to go!

5) Read the Fine Print

      “You legally have 10 days to cancel a membership and get your full money back.  After that point we are not obligated to return any money.

         This is at ANY gym in Canada. We are obligated to tell customers. If you get sick and cannot use the membership, what is the policy? If you go away on vacation, what is the policy? People get mad because a gym won’t return their money. The unfortunate truth is that no facility is obligated to return money even if you don’t show up. You willingly paid for a membership. Know the fine print before you sign on the dotted line.

Any gym that wants you as a member will do so honestly. Our facility takes great pride in creating a positive experience. Integrity is a huge part of being a business owner. Quite simply, what you put in to it is what you get out of it. Members who stick around do so because of that integrity.

She’s been a member for ten years!

Becuase Loving Yourself is Easier

07 Feb

        It always surprises me how amazing, talented and hard working women still manage to find something wrong with themselves.

I work with women of all ages, shapes and sizes. What’s the one thing they all share in common? I see too many negative messages. Either we’re too big or too small. We do too much or not enough. We’re not pretty enough. We’re not smart enough. The list goes on. I’d like to change the message.

We were in fitness class talking about all the latest plastic surgery and diet fads. This lady blurted out,

“Loving yourself just seems easier.”

Because beauty is embracing who you are at all times.

How right she is. I thought to myself, “Why do we go to such extreme lengths to punish ourselves?” Whether it’s starving ourselves to lose weight or not participating in sport because we’re so self conscious. Some females I’ve worked with cannot even meet their own gaze in the mirror. We have learned to define being a “woman” by what we look like.

“Who we are as women is not measured by our waistline”

Being self conscious to most means that we’re afraid everyone is looking and judging us. Let’s focus on who we are. The way I define “self conscious” is a little bit different. To me being “SELF conscious” means being aware of what makes our inner SELF happy. Shouldn’t that be the focus? Just because you’re not some definition of perfect doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to be happy. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. When that relationship flourishes so too will life around you. Loving yourself is so much easier than being something you’re not.

Beauty is measured by our strength of character.