Have you ever began working out at a gym, or with a trainer, and only be required to pay your money before you start training? Many gyms only require payment. Some require a liability waiver. But maybe they should probe their members a bit deeper.
The first situation was a newly retired gentleman who began training with us through a promotional program. We completed the standard health risk assessment. Vitals were a little higher than normal, but not alarming. He could stand to lose a few pounds, and his flexibility needed some work. Basically, he was out of shape but signed up to change his current condition. There was no cause to request a physician clearance.
We noticed after a handful of workouts that he still had some chest congestion from a lingering respiratory ailment which antibiotics had been, repeatedly, prescribed with no resolution. He was short of breath and was not able to get through a modified workout.
Having had some experience with cardiac rehab and cardiovascular disease, I strongly suggested they seek a second opinion from a different practitioner. I had a good idea of what it was but, legally, could not submit my opinion. At no time did I diagnose, or even suggest any potential ailment. I merely told him something didn’t seem right and they should look for another opinion since the ailment had not resolved.
A week later his wife contacted me with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure from a cardiologist. The severity required the implanting of a pacemaker. That confirms why we assess all training clients and members prior to exercise. To have his wife tell me I saved her husband’s life made me pause for a moment. I simply did what my education and training and gut guided me to do. At that point in my career, I realized my schooling and training were worth it. Always put the client/patient first.
The second situation occurred more recently. The gentleman contacted me about fitness training to lose some weight and get fit.
During our initial consultation, I realized there were some serious health issues that would require a physician and cardiologist release before we would begin. The internal medicine physician signed off with relative ease since the patient was Type I diabetic (insulin dependent), and had blood pressure and cholesterol issues. I have trained diabetic clients before with success. The cardiologist saga was where it got interesting.
His cardiologist ordered a graded exercise test (treadmill test) to make sure things were working well. Now I should mention this individual already had previous heart attacks. During the treadmill test, the ECG reported issues with this client. His cardiologist ordered a heart catheterization to further explore/confirm what he had detected through the stress test. The catheterization revealed serious blockages of the four major coronary arteries. This client was a potential time bomb! All he wanted to do was lose some weight and get stronger. Now he had to endure quadruple bypass surgery. Many trainers would not have thought twice about training this client without medical clearance. He might be dead today if he went somewhere else to work out.
The point of this article is to bring awareness to those with potential health issues who are considering exercise. When a fitness professional says you need to get physician clearance before you begin training, please take it seriously. Its main purpose is to protect you. Secondly, it helps the trainer understand your current condition. It is my hope that more trainers already do this, but I know this to be untrue.
Safe fitness training is extremely beneficial to overall improved health and wellness. Be safe and get cleared before you begin. Get busy living!
Here’s our June Member Spotlight – Kathi McBride!
I train at FSI because I enjoy working out and the workouts at FSI are always challenging. Chris changes up the workouts by making a game type setting out of some. The workouts are enjoyable and even though I continue to challenge myself to meet personal goals the gym and all the people in it are positive influences in me meeting my fitness goals. The biggest factor is that at FSI you are there for yourself and your own personal goals. You are not in competition with anyone. You are encouraged by others but no one ever judges you by the weights you use or what you can do.
I have seen a loss on the scale. I have also lost inches. My clothes are fitting better. The biggest results I have seen are the improvements in my running. When I started at FSI I could barely run to the tree without having to walk back and now I can run further and more times without stopping. This is not without the help of others encouragement and running by my side. I have also increased my weight one time since I started at FSI. I started with a shoulder injury and now I am doing regular push-ups. You just want to better yourself and you know you can reach your goals.
The feeling you get after you are done with your workout. The accomplishment. You know that you are going to the gym and you will see the same people who are now becoming like family to you there right by your side. You know that you will complete the workout. The feeling of reaching my goals. Making my kids proud of me. I want to be healthy and I do not want my kids to worry about taking care of me in the future.
It is a gym that you can reach your goals at your own pace while surrounded by positive people and a knowledgeable coach. It is not going to be easy but it will be worth it. There will be times that you want to give up but there will be people that will encourage you to keep pushing. You will see change and you will never be judged or feel out of place or uncomfortable. If you take the first step you will not regret it.
Are you up next for the July Member Spotlight?
After our workout…