By Ron Krayewski


flexible senior


We all know what rehabilitation is or at least we all think we know what it means. The true definition is “to restore to a good working condition.” But what about PRE-habilitation? Isn’t it more important to prepare for an inevitable injury, sickness or surgery and even to postpone death?

The best form of pre-habilitation may well be as simple as strength training, which may be performed at home or at a commercial gym. Lifting weights or any resistance has many health benefits.

Balance can definitely be improved by working the lower body, front, rear, and both sides of the legs, as well as the core, (a band that surrounds the body and separates the upper body from the lower body).

Strong muscles will help prevent bones from being broken as easily during falls that may occur when walking on uneven surfaces and strength training will help prevent Sarcopenia, or shrinking of muscle size with corresponding loss of strength.

Lifting weights may reduce or eliminate osteoporosis, or weak bone structure, prevalent in older women, which in conjunction with strong muscles will aid in fewer broken or fractured bones.

Dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, may be prevented with a sound program of strength training which also stimulates brain waves.  Parkinson patients can benefit greatly by adding resistance exercises for balance and fine motor control tuning.

Functional movements, as we age, become more difficult. Even performing simple tasks such as squatting, bending over to pick up an object or reaching over-head can be made more effortless with resistance exercises stressing these movements.

Strength training for fat loss may actually enlarge the heart, thicken it’s walls and make the heart perform more efficiently and is far superior to performing endless hours of long slow cardio, as in walking on a treadmill.

Recovery from surgery will come quicker when the muscles surrounding the surgical site are strengthened, as muscle heals faster than fat. Prepare for upcoming operations with strength training especially where the incision is to be made.

Joint replacements will become easier to recover from when the muscles holding that particular joint are strengthened and the time for rehabilitation will be shortened and you will be back to a normal life sooner than expected.

On a personal note, I took my first weight lifting course as a freshman at Texas Christian University in1966, and have continued to workout as I approach my 69th birthday. In the last three years I have had a hip replacement, which I prepared for and I recovered in less than a week. I survived a five day-old burst appendix and left the hospital five days later with my surgeon saying “You have just won the lottery.”

Last year I had a random attack of Tackycardia where my heart rate zoomed up to 167 Beats per Minute (BPM) for seven hours until a Cardiologist applied pressure to my eye- balls which brought my heart rate down to a respectable 67 BPM.

Last June it was discovered seizures in my right leg were caused by a Stage 4 malignant brain tumour that needed to be removed immediately. That surgery was successfully performed on Tuesday morning and I was back to training at the gym on the following Friday.

Strength Training really is the best medicine.


Ojo Del Lago
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