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Home can be the perfect training zone as we adapt to find new ways to move





Bishop's Stortford movement specialist Michael Jelbart explains how, with a little education and support, the ideal gym can be quite literally on your doorstep...

With Covid-19 in our midst, we have been 'prisoners' in our own living spaces, forcing us to self-isolate or work from home. This not only disrupts our daily routines, it makes movement and exercise near impossible – or so we thought.

As a self-employed movement specialist serving the Bishop's Stortford area, helping middle-aged to older adults with their injuries, pain and movement restrictions has been a challenge to say the least. However, we must use this as an opportunity to learn and evolve by finding new and exciting ways to move our bodies, and beat our own pain and injury puzzles.

Without realising it, we've had the perfect training environment all along, and you're probably sitting in it right now whilst reading this article. It's our homes.

Think about it – it's a personal space where we feel safe, we know it like the back of our hand and there's no room for judgement (excuse the pun). Say goodbye to expensive gyms or training equipment as your home is the new training zone. All you need is a little education and support to help you along the way.

It all starts with a simple home assessment that takes your living space, health status and current capabilities into account. Once we have the perfect strategy, we'll work together to create a routine that can be videoed, broken down into bite-sized chunks and easily completed throughout the day. The key is to attach these exercises to your current daily habits and routines to make purposeful movement a big part of your life.

Whether it's brushing your teeth, sitting at your desk or watching your favourite TV programme, these are all perfect opportunities to embed a positive exercise habit, or what I like to call a 'movement moment'.

Movement specialist Michael Jelbart with client John Jaques (43009584)
Movement specialist Michael Jelbart with client John Jaques (43009584)

What's on the top of your priority list? Is it your independence? Maybe you want to combat an ongoing injury, learn to run again, improve your posture, or play pain-free golf at weekends. Or maybe it's even seemingly easy flexibility tasks like putting your socks on, balance for climbing the stairs or strength for lifting and carrying things.

Move Evolutions over-50s package can help you understand and combat any injury or movement requirement you may have.

If you, your parents or anyone you know could benefit from this unique programme, call me on 07398 750522 and together we can turn your home into a safe and effective training zone to give you the strength, confidence and stability you thought you never had.

Case study

John Jaques, an 82-year-old retired dentist and former owner of the Bishop's Stortford Orthodontic Practice, needed Michael's help. As a respected member of the community, John is best known for his love of walking and his involvement with Bishop's Stortford's University of the Third Age (U3A).

"I have always been an active person, so when I retired I had the time for a good walk every day. I was also in charge of co-ordinating and leading the longer, more challenging walks via U3A," said John.

"However, a few years ago I noticed that I was beginning to stoop forward. This condition slowly deteriorated. Eventually my stoop became so marked that I was forced to use a walking stick just to move along.

"I'm sure that my problem was work related. Bending awkwardly over patients for 40 years had finally taken its toll."

John Jaques' stoop became so marked that he was forced to use a walking stick just to move along
John Jaques' stoop became so marked that he was forced to use a walking stick just to move along

Unfortunately, the older generation of dentists were classically trained standing up as opposed to being seated. As a result, John has been left with lumbar kyphosis (excessive rounding) of the lumbar spine. This has ultimately impacted his ability to balance, walk correctly or climb stairs.

"I decided to try to improve my strength by joining the gym to use weights and the cycling machine, but this was to no avail," said John.

"It was apparent that I did need professional help. I noticed that one of the trainers was also a specialist in movement and I decided to seek his advice. Thus my friendship with Michael began.

"At first I was rather sceptical as many of the exercises did not seem appropriate to my condition. However, Michael does possess a very comprehensive knowledge of human anatomy and movement, and I was absolutely delighted when, after a few weeks, friends and neighbours began to notice my improved posture.

"I had been training with Michael for some three years when the coronavirus pandemic forced the gym to close. Domiciliary visits now had to be arranged. I was surprised that, with a bit of space and a modicum of ingenuity, my home could be converted into a mini gym with little to no equipment.

"The exercises are gentle and progressive, some being simple, others more complicated and strenuous. The latter are videoed and downloaded to my computer to ensure that I do them properly.

John Jaques: "I was absolutely delighted when, after a few weeks, friends and neighbours began to notice my improved posture."
John Jaques: "I was absolutely delighted when, after a few weeks, friends and neighbours began to notice my improved posture."

"I realise that I still have a way to go but I am indebted to Michael. Not only can I now walk, albeit using poles, for two to three miles with an acceptable posture, I can also maintain my independence, which is so important to me."

To book a free 30-minute consultation, call Michael on 07398 750522 or email michael@moveevolution.co.uk.



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