At 84 years old, Bob Butts had never imagined that regular exercise would change his life so dramatically. After a serious medical incident, his balance and strength were jeopardized, which put him at risk of a serious fall. Bob understood that his health would need more than a quick fix. It was time to become a consistently active person.
“I had a Stroke in January of 2016, so I came here. When I came here, I couldn’t lift my hand up over my head. I couldn’t get out of the chair without help, and I weighed 256 pounds.”
Bob, and his personal trainer Kim, joke that Bob is now a “gym rat”, meaning he is someone who can often be found at the gym. With a nice morning routine and professional guidance in the weight room, Bob has seen consistent improvement in his physical abilities. The health benefits Bob has experienced from regular exercise keep him coming back.
“I lost 65 pounds of fat and put on some muscle. I can walk in a straight line now, before I was all over the place. I used to get headaches… Kim got me doing these stretches, and before I realized it, I didn’t have headaches anymore.”
Bob came to the gym so he could improve his balance, lose weight, and gain strength. While these goals were achieved, Bob also discovered that working out improved his mental health. This has greatly increased Bob’s confidence in himself and his physical abilities.
“I have no health issues at all anymore. I want to be able to do things with my grandchildren, and great-grandchildren… My wife.”
Bob’s journey reminds us that preventing falls and other serious injuries begins with ourselves. The most common reason for permanent and total disability is falls. Every year, 1 in 3 seniors experience a falling incident. After ensuring our homes are hazard-free, the next step in preventing falls is to strengthen our bodies. Our body is the vehicle in which we navigate our lives. To train our bodies with exercise is to respect our overall health.
If you or a loved one wishes to investigate active lifestyles, first check with your doctor or health care practitioner. There are many Saskatchewan based resources to assist you in your fitness journey:
Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism - Bringing together Saskatchewan seniors organizations
Forever in Motion - Helping older adults become physically active in their communities
Saskatchewan Senior Fitness Association - Activity programs for adults fifty years of age and older
Active Aging Canada - Trusted information and resources for older Canadians