A Happy Ending!
“I can’t believe the difference in my husband since he started doing some regular exercise,” said Susan. “He has always been a little on the depressive side – sees the half empty glass whereas I am more inclined to see life through rosier glasses”.
I was interested to hear this about Bill, Susan’s husband, and I was really happy that the exercise had worked its magic on him.
After a busy working life, Bill had retired at 55 thinking he would be able to use all his free time doing the things he had dreamt about and that he had never had time for. Then a funny thing happened. Bill retired from work but it seemed to trigger a retirement from the world in general. The formal structure he was so used to just didn’t exist anymore and he slowly slipped into a mild depression.
Susan had mentioned when we first met that she thought Bill felt useless. His normal work had given him a reason to get up in the morning. She told me that she had read in a paper recently about the effects of a regular exercise routine on the ‘good hormones’ in the body and how this helped people suffering from depression to feel better. So this led to Susan checking the Yellow Pages and the internet for some suitable exercise for two “young” retirees. There seemed to be a lot of Health and Fitness Centres so she decided to ring some.
Susan asked all the right questions – “Do you have programmes for people over 50?” “Do you have staff who are over 50?” “How long have you been in business and what is the longest time one of your members has been at your Centre?” “What qualifications do your staff have?” “Can I get a medical rebate through my Private Health Fund at your Centre?”
After many calls to many Centres, Susan decided to come and talk with me and on her second visit she brought Bill with her. A ‘gym’ had never been on Bill’s agenda but he agreed to give it a go.
Bill has been exercising three times a week now for five months. His program has been changed several times to keep up with the changes in his strength and fitness.
Tangible results are: 100% gains in his strength based on the weights Bill could lift when he started. His cardiovascular improvements have been measured against his goal; Bill has a Milford Sounds Walk coming up in New Zealand. Currently Bill’s ability to walk faster and to manage hills has improved so dramatically and he has no doubt that he will manage the challenge.
“And you know Victoria, it’s not just that Bill is happier. He just has more energy for things around the house,” Susan continued. “I’d swear this has taken ten years off his physical age – he can bend and crouch and kneel in a way he wouldn’t have even tried a year ago. I don’t know why we didn’t start doing this years ago!”