As an Exercise Physiologist I have the opportunity to work on an occasional basis at the Saint Vincent Hospital Lismore in their outpatient rehabilitation programme. I recently helped out for a day and I would like to share with you some of the patient’s challenges and why I believe that exercise is one of the most important things that you can do to stay healthy.
A lot of the patients are there through no fault of their own just that life is catching up to them. My role is to try to keep them as mobile and functional as possible and to help prevent falls due to instability and lack of muscle strength.
Some patients are there with knee and hip replacements and each patients recovery time is very different. The patients that were more inclined to maintain their muscle strength and fitness before surgery were recovering so much faster and were mentally stronger to deal with the physical challenges.
Some patients had chronic conditions associated with poor lifestyle habits, which we see so often in our culture today. These patients were often the hardest to motivate however when they did get going their one regret was that it took a serious debilitating health condition for them to realise that life can be fragile and we so often take our health for granted.
I enjoyed working with all of the patients however I would find myself feeling quiet emotional at times as I know that their time on this earth is ending.
So please if you value your health and enjoy living life to the fullest take 20 minutes a day to exercise and move your body it’s the only one you have.
Written by Karen Wood, 7/10/11