Why Let Someone Tell Me to Stop?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Antonio Bahia

Certified Personal Trainer, The Gym at 99 Sudbury

As a professional working in the physical education, sports and fitness field for over 17 years, something that has negatively caught my attention is how, many times I have met people who just give up and dive into depression because of following that hard diagnostic that says, “You are not able to practice this anymore.”

As someone who lives by training my mind as a warrior through the Martial Arts discipline and also a health professional, I disagree with the previous statement the majority of the time.

Part of the Physical Education curriculum is called Physical Education Adapted (APE) that is directed for people with special needs and we also have a category of exercises (Adapted Physical Activities) dedicated to being used for post injury rehab and corrective training.

So before you mess with someone’s life telling them to just stay inactive, you should check the benefits of these exercises.

I am not saying after an accident or a disease a person who now have fusion joints, meniscus injuries, or have lost a limb will be an elite athlete. That person can have a better life and feel even better with themselves if, with some help from a serious professional, reeducate and train their body to be able to complete activities that someone once told them they were not capable of accomplishing anymore. 

By definition, Adapted Physical Education (APE) is the art and science of developing, implementing, and monitoring a carefully designed physical education instructional program for a learner with a disability, based on a comprehensive assessment, to give the learner the skills necessary for a lifetime of rich leisure, recreation, and sport experiences to enhance physical fitness and wellness.

Over the past three decades, numerous studies have revealed that physical activity and sport participation result in improved functional status and quality of life among people with selected disabilities as well as improvements in physical and mental well-being.

Sport can play a key role in the lives and communities of people with and without disabilities, this was one reason that drove me to gain the knowledge and the methodology to work in this field of Physical Education. In college, working as a volunteer in a project that had the goal of helping people with disabilities, we had very positive results training them in the main categories of athletics. Including two clients being selected to go for the Paralympic games representing Brazil. It was a very big deal for our college as there was Tv reporters there to get the story. In one of the interviews I saw a mother cry saying how she was happy and grateful for that work that we put in because before she previously had a son with a disability and now she has an athlete at home. After witnessing that I put much more effort into learning how to work in this field of Physical Education.

With all that said:

The first step to changing the lifestyle of a person with a disability for a person with normal life or an athlete is the decision to start training.
The second step is choose a serious facility and professional services with equipment and knowledge to help this journey.
The third step is the assessment… It will not be much different from a regular fitness assessment, but during the interview the person and trainer need to make clear of all the needs, goals, preference of activities and most common daily activities that she would like to perform easier. It is a fact that some people have a hard time even to standing up from a chair. One of my clients who had  severe problems with Parkinson’s disease was so grateful for the help I gave her that eventually led her to be able to do a squat from a bench with perfect technique. When she stood up, She smile and said, “Oh my God I did it.” In her mind she was not able to stand again without someone’s help, but after working with her for a few weeks with a bench, a stretching bar and later a TRX. She had accomplished this great moment in her life that helped her build more confidence for other challenges.
The fourth step, is just start training…

The Gym at 99Sudbury is equipped with facilities to design any kind of training and we have achieved many positive results with adapted activities here. I can mention at least a couple cases just with me in an interval of 2 years… Of course some people may thing that a fitness club sounds intimidating as a first view for people with special needs, but as some positive points I can mention:

     1-    In a gym, you will always be surrounded with people directing their energy towards their health, not making you feel sick like in a clinic.

     2-   In terms of cost you are enjoying professional services and facilities for much less the in a medical center.

     3- As Physical Education and fitness professionals are specialized in exercise you will not be stuck with only a couple routines that will work for the first stage of recovery , but progressive programs to continue to see improvements.

If you are reading this article and thinking if this is possible, I offer you a challenge. If you or any friends has a special need for exercise and just never thought about joining a regular gym, and being assisted by a professional, take the first and second steps coming here and we will gladly show you how it works.