Exercise Therapy

shadow43As we continue to make the most of access to David’s experience and insights on the subjects of rehabilitation after paralysis, optimising function and exercise therapy, here we look at what I referred to as the ‘ultimate aims’ we wish to achieve.

We gain an understanding of the difference between health and general fitness, and their importance in this scenario.

The transcript is taken from track 03 of the ‘Strength for Life’ audio CD, entitled ‘Health and fitness’.

Key: DH = David Heard.

JB: That’s one of the ultimate aims isn’t it (over a compound period, developing enough movement to regain function)?

DH: Well, there are a number of ultimate aims I suppose. One is to maintain the paralysed person in as healthy a state as possible. We all know that exercise is supposedly good for you. A sedentary life is against that, well…

JB: I hope you’re going to confirm later that that’s the case?

DH: I absolutely believe its the case. But er, at this point let’s assume… there was a doubt. But if there was a doubt, then how much more could it be said to be a detrimental if you’re confined to sitting in a wheelchair eighteen hours a day?! Because even the most moribund, chairbound, lazy person will have to get up at some point, even if its only to go to the loo. So that movement is denied from the paralysed person. So it is first and foremost… as I said, even if you’re moving the muscles passively you’re actually creating a better environment for that person who is wheelchair bound and/or paralysed.

The second idea that springs to mind as an ultimate aim if you like is… we’ve talked about the health… its the general fitness. Now there is a difference between health and fitness.

JB: Right.

DH: Fitness is the capability of coping with daily activity. Er, if we think of it in sports terms its about high performance. But if we talk about it in what we say ADL, activities for daily living, it’s the fitness that enables someone who is short of breath to go upstairs.

JB: Right.

DH: So there’s also fitness as opposed to health, in other words, optimising whatever muscle strength, stamina, you have to get you through a day efficiently.

And then the third element of our ultimate dreams if you like, is the regaining of function.


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