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Tuesday
Apr262016

Pacemakers and Passions

Just what does an exercise physiologist do?

Catherine Temple from Go Campbell River is a long time CR resident who knows almost every trail in the north island. She is creating a fantastic resource website to promote our community. I've known Catherine for a few years, first working with her in the Take Heart program.

The main clients I work with are those that are relatively new or recently returning to a more active lifestyle, or those who have been very active in the past and have had a heart event or new diagnosis that requires a change in how, how often, and how hard they exercise.  

Catherine has hiked, caved, biked and rockclimbed many of North Vancouver Islands hidden gems.  She has also been through quite a journey with her heart over the past 8 years, and hasn't really been able to do most of the things she used to do.  She is now working with a pacemaker and we recently reconnected to get a program together for her - with her number one goal being a return to overnight backpacking.  

We've completed 3 sessions, and in that time I've completed a few functional tests - testing her mobility (how her joints move), stability (how much she is able to stabilize her joints by recruiting certain muscle groups), overall strength, resting vitals (heart rate and blood pressure) how aerobically fit she is and how her pacemaker responds to different exercise (biking, walking and running).  

Catherine's next step is to get some good, supportive trail running shoes.  We took a look at her feet and how she walks and jogs and I gave her recommendations on what to look for for shoes, also considering whether she is going to be running on trails or sidewalks/roads.  

Catherine is also doing a ton of shovelling and gardening right now, so I've given her some stretches and strengthening exercises to keep her moving effectively.  She says it has made a huge difference for her neck and shoulder pain.

Last night, I saw this blog post on my facebook feed on the Live Out There website.  To the average joe, it looks like this fit young woman knows a whole lot about how to train for hiking, and most people would probably try out a few of these exercises.  After the few sessions we've done together, I've gotten to know how Catherine moves, and what her body's strengths and weaknesses are, and would recommend some of these exercises or would give Catherine modifications to them to make them more effective for her.  

That's what I do.  For most people who have lived in Campbell River for a while, and with the multitude of info on the internet, investing in a few sessions with a kinesiologist/exercise physiologist or personal trainer seems to be something reserved for either those who hire people to do everything for them (cleaning, landscaping, etc), or something only the most wealthy residents could afford.  On the contrary - a few sessions might save you injuring yourself either in the short term or years down the road as we focus on long term effective and efficient programs that keep you doing the things you want to be able to do.  We have a team so that we can find the right person to help you reach your goals.

This body of yours is the only one you've got - take care of it and maintain it just as you would your other most valuable possessions.

 

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