Wednesday, January 05, 2011

are you fit to care / exercise

Getting in shape tops many New Year’s resolutions but in over 20 years as a caregiver / carer it was never even on my radar.

Up until 4 months ago if you had told me I would belong to a gym – well, in texting speak ROFL.  

Before 4 months ago, multiple transfers in a day could cause me such back pain that not only was my life affected but Patti’s outings were often suspended.

Christmas Day I transferred Patti a dozen times, most of which involved lifting her in and out of a vehicle. Yes I awoke stiff and stooped the next day but nothing that a couple iboprufen didn’t erase.

Perhaps it was spandexphobia or anxiety of being surrounded by bodybuilders but a gym seemed alien to me. That is until I found Planet Fitness.

Their un-gym atmosphere is as appealing as the $10 a month cost.

Transferring Patti or anyone involves different muscle groups. As a carer / caregiver your body tells you which muscle groups ‘feel’ the sorest. 

Their 30-minute circuit workout is a user friendly series of stations with level and pulley machines for each major muscle group. Adjusting weight while working through the cycle, I can strengthen what I need. Plus there is a cool traffic light which signals you when to start and stop the exercise and switch machines.

While the circuit workout has phenomenally benefited transferring Patti, the two miles of power walking on a treadmill during my visits has energized wheelchair pushing. Previously I would train every Spring prior to a MS Walk by pushing Patti increasing distance, speed, and incline of terrain. Since Planet Fitness we zoom around miles of wheelchair accessible trails regardless of time of year or terrain.

By bringing along my audio book each visit doubles as a healthy book listening ‘hour’.

It took me two decades to figure out that athletes train their bodies just to play games. People actually depend on the bodies of caregivers / carers.  

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer 


  1. "...athletes train their bodies just to play games."

    Wow, I never thought of it that way.


  2. that gym sounds like a good one, Patrick. very wise words you are writing these past two days to take care of our bodies, it has made me think about the impact of what I do with my health on others down the road; thanks for sharing your "tips" with us :)


  3. Yes I agree exercise does help, with all circumstances! We feel better in general. I know as an MSer, I feel like doing more, when I exercise!

  4. I hear you Patrick. Doing the lifting and transferring at work I would be so stiff and sore and biofreeze and tylenol were my best friends. Since I have been working out at the gym it is so much better. Planet fitness sounds like a version of Curves which is a great place.

  5. We have a Planet Fitness near us, so maybe I'll check it out and see if I'm able to keep up...
    Yes, those athletes play games -- and get paid millions to do so!!


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