Thursday, March 31, 2016

Osteoporosis: FUNCTIONAL FITNESS - Did this training need to be invented?

Today on the Mayo Clinic newsletter for osteoporosis, I discovered a new word:  Functional Fitness.

As far as I can see, it's a new category that helps us get throught the day - the lifting, juggling, reaching, stepping off curbs with a bag of groceries.  The stuff I wasn't afraid to do before my spine got hurt. Some sort of functional fitness was taughtt by Occupational Therapists after my spine problem hospitalized me, and after the spine fusion.  These were "simple" things like getting out of the tub safely, giving myself a sponge bath, and (before release from acute rehab) an attempt to get me to go down a few stairs using only the cane.  (I still don't do that now, four years later.)  No handrail, no go.

Under examples of the training exercises, the article mentioned some things like simple lunges and reaching that I already proved in Physical that I can do. There are examples including that the lunges will prepare you for yard work and sports with your kids. 

This is where I admit that I confessed on my PT "graduation" inventory that I do not feel safe gardening and will certainly not return to tennis, with its opportunities to do the twisting I don't dare do. 

You might want to read at least the opening of the article:  Functional Fitness training:  Is it right for you?  In fact, read the whole article.

My hesitation is that the functional fitness training description sounds as if it would duplicate a great deal of what I learned in the recent, great physical therapy.  Did this exercise need to be invented??  Oh... I have another hesitation:  since this discipline is apparently new, are there enough coaches well-trained enough to put us safely through our paces?

And here comes the commercial:  See your doctor first!  Does your doctor know a coach who can explain the needs and dangers?  And tell your doctor (and the Functional Fitness coach if there is one in your town) about anything like my spine fusion that might limit what you can do during the training, and limit what we could do after being trained.

I can almost, almost, almost picture myself doing more than I currently dare to do.  But like what?  Cleaning the gutters?  Definitely no skating.  I've been mostly motivated by not wanting to walk old, look old, and with osteoporosis, definitely not wanting to fall down.  Isn't that all dependent on simple BALANCE?

Do we need this something new?  Or is it just something extra to make me feel guilty when I don't keep up with it?

I wish you health.

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