Introducing exercise, at any age, can create a new lease of life. This rings true for 76 year-old Jean.
As we have seen in our other stories this week, exercise changes lives. 76 year-old Jean, who has re-found her love for the great outdoors, would agree. Jean has been seeing an accredited exercise physiologist (AEP) for the past 8 months and in this time, the changes she has seen, in her words, have been “life changing.”
Jean was anxious about attending her initial appointment, not knowing the role of an AEP or what it is they would suggest she do. Her goals were simple; improve her balance and be able to take the stairs without relying on the hand rail.
As mentioned previously, an AEP is a university qualified allied health professional who specialises in the delivery of exercise. Their comprehensive university training enables them to assess, clinically prescribe and evaluate safe and effective exercise interventions for people with chronic disease, medical conditions, musculoskeletal injury or disability.
A range of assessments were undertaken in Jean’s initial appointment that unconvered lower limb weakness, explaining her difficulty climbing stairs and maintaining her balance. Now knowing the root cause of her issues, Jean’s AEP was able to devise a plan and exercise program to help her work towards achieving her goals and regaining her independence.
The exercise physiologist worked closely with Jean, ensuring her initial exercise program was safe and of an appropriate level for her current physical ability. As her strength and confidence increased, so did her exercise program, all guided by her AEP to ensure ongoing adaptations occurred and her goals could be met. With Jean now able to climb the stairs and her balance and confidence improving, she has rediscovered her love of outdoor walks with her family and friends. This is a feat Jean never expected to accomplish and her continuing partnership with her AEP has truly been life changing.
 ESSA: Exercise and falls prevention in older people (2011): Tiedemann A, et al. Exercise and Sports Science Australia Position Statement on exercise and falls prevention in older people. J Sci Med Sport (2011), doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2011.04.001