Since the start of 2022, although there have been a lot of disruptions to business such as staff illness and customer illness due to COVID, there have been no more lockdowns. As a result, although this has not been the case for all of our clients, a lot of our clients have had a “relatively” uninterrupted program of exercise and rehabilitation since the start of the year. For the first time in 2 years, consistency.
The difference this “uninterrupted” program has made in the lives of our customers has really been highlighted last week, when we happened to do a lot of re-assessments with clients who started our program early this year.
The amazing (but really, surprising results) is that they have gotten better, stronger, fitter and they can do more with their lives (live a better life) than before.
Exercise programs are not complicated to make effective. Usually the first part is:
- Consistency – Do your exercise program 2-3 times a week and the body will do its job and change based on the stimulus you are providing for it to change
The second part is time:
- No one got better from an exercise program is a week or two. It takes time for the body’s nervous system to adapt (neurological adaptation) and for the muscles to growth and improve. Usually the minimum is 13 weeks, but the real changes in health and lifestyle is when clients have been consistent for over 12 months
Our biggest challenge is between clients doing something and doing nothing, not the competition – consistency
When we call clients up who we haven’t seen for 6 months, 12 months or even after 2 years, it is rare that they have gone to see a competitor. Usually, when they stopped coming to see us for exercise, they stopped exercising altogether. Some may have persisted with some form of exercise for a while, but this usually become less and less frequent over time.
As a result, they began to do less and less with there lives and adapted their lifestyle to their more restricted physical limitations.
This is terrible to hear from a health professional perspective because our whole aim was to allow our clients to live a better, fuller life. Hearing that they further restrict their lifestyle due to a lack of strength and fitness is something that can be prevented and unnecessary.
Find a way to keep your clients consistent with their exercise program. This is a behavioural problem and takes empathy and encouragement to solve.
Over time it is easy for clients to forget how good they used to feel
When we have those conversations with clients who have “dropped off the radar”, we hear stories of restricted lifestyles and acceptance that this is okay. Unfortunately, they have forgotten how good their lives can be and have assumed this is now their new “normal”.
This is not the way it can be. When clients re-start their program, after a short amount of time (often after only a few weeks), they start to feel better again. They start to feel what their lives can be like again and start to become active once again.
The toughest challenge, getting them to re-start once again and believing that their lives can be better and more fulfilling
Find a way to get them started once again. Once they do, they will feel better in a short amount of time and believe once more
Surgery is rarely the only option
If pain and particularly arthritis has progressed and clients have not been active, usually the conversation turns to surgery. Surgery, such as joint replacement may be the right option when arthritis has progressed enough, but it is rarely enough. If the muscles around the joints are not strong enough, the benefits of joint replacement will not be fully realized. Unfortunately, most people after joint replacement DO NOT have a more active lifestyle after the surgery than before the surgery, even if the pain is better.
Clients need to make their muscles stronger after surgery and ideally before surgery to actually get the full benefits of joint replacements and to actually live a better lifestyle.
Surgery is not enough. Find a way to get your clients to work on their muscle strength before surgery to get the full benefits from joint replacements.
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