Fitness Trail: Seeking fitness solutions for physical limitations |

Fitness Trail: Seeking fitness solutions for physical limitations

Senior in wheelchair exercising with exercising band during sports class
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

We all have physical limitations. Obviously, some far more serious and challenging than others, but the reality is that every “body” has it limits. And, this does not mean that we should not strive for fitness success, but simply to recognize our limitations and move forward. The spectrum of physical capabilities and limitations of our clientele is broad; however, the common thread that connects all of them is that they pass through the threshold seeking fitness solutions for their physical limitations. Therefore, this week, consider the following five fitness solutions addressing many physical limitations. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Five Fitness Solutions:

-It is about what you can do—not what you cannot. Consider a client recovering from knee replacement surgery currently in physical therapy–they may still be able to train the rest of their bodies while the physical therapist restores their knee mobility/stability preparing them to begin post-rehabilitation. Take the holistic approach when healing from surgery or an injury and realize that there are parts of your body that are generally doing just fine. Obtain a referral from your physician and physical therapist choosing that ideal trainer to work on the rest of your body while completing rehabilitation.

-If you are feeling too old or too tired—no problem! You are never too old to exercise. There are excellent exercise programs designed for the elderly enabling them to continue performing activities of daily living (i.e. ADL) and remaining independent. Too tired, well one of the best remedies for tiredness, in most cases, is to exercise. Often that tired sensation is due to emotional stress and exercising is one of the best methods of stress reduction.

-Serious physiological illness—while this is a little more challenging to address, even those recovering from treatment or still in treatment may be able to benefit from an exercise program. With your physician’s blessing and the assistance of experienced trainers/coaches trained to work specifically with those limitations, you may find the energy you did not know you possessed, strength that has been tucked away for a while and emotional support which is invaluable during recovery and beyond.

-Structural limitations of the body such as the spinal or shoulder/hip/knee/ankle joints—these are common issues for many, due to surgery, injury, genetic predisposition or lack of use and, the good news is that often these limitations may be improved. You may need the assistance of a physical therapist prior to working with an experienced trainer/coach trained to address your specific limitations; however, with meticulous form when performing exercises which strengthen, lengthen and mobilize those areas of the body, and dozens of modifications for every exercise available, you may be able to perform tasks long forgotten.

-Over or under weight—both of these issues may be positively impacted by exercise. So, no worries! If you believe you are over or under weight, ask your trainer/coach to perform a fitness assessment ascertaining what your body composition, girth measurements, etc., are currently, establishing a baseline and then creating realistic goals/objectives to help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. This should also include a well-designed healthy eating regimen as an exercise program without the dietary component is like Batman without Robin!

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at, her email at and her Facebook Page at Mountain Life Fitness.

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