THE ROLE OF SPEEDFLEX IN SUPPORTING CLIENTS WITH SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITIONS
A plethora of studies have shown that exercise has a hugely beneficial effect on health conditions, especially those seen in later life.
Whilst this sounds simple, older individuals who have suffered a health issue are understandably afraid to exercise, and certainly to exercise at the intensity they need to, to see real benefit.
Speedflex offers an unparalleled solution to this problem, bringing unique solutions to concerns associated with a number of health conditions.
Parkinson’s and MS typically occur in middle age or later life. A key symptom is the loss of the balance mechanism. Clients are understandably nervous about falling, which leads to a tendency to shuffle.
Studies show that when it comes to Parkinson’s Disease, moderate to high intensity exercise offers a greater benefit than low intensity exercise, but if you can’t balance, how do you achieve this?
Speedflex takes care of your balance because you always have two feet planted on the floor and both hands on the handles, providing complete stability.
Typically, Parkinson’s sufferers would not be able to lift their arms above their head, again for fear of losing their balance, but with Speedflex they can because they are holding on at all times. This allows them to perform full body resistance and cardio exercise, extremely safely, without fear of falling.
Once the fear of falling is taking out of the equation, they can exercise to a much higher intensity than they are able to when the risk of losing balance is still present.
As we age bone density decreases, which can lead to osteoporosis. Menopause is another cause of loss of bone density. The older population are at greater risk of falls and this combined with osteoporosis can lead to serious injury.
Resistance exercise helps to build and retain bone density by creating tension on your bones. Exercising on Speedflex causes your tendons to pull on your arms and legs, creating the optimum environment for building bone density, without the risk of injury.
Joint pain and Arthritis clients are limited in their choice of exercise, and often, non-weight bearing activities such as swimming become the only option. Whilst offering good cardiovascular benefits, clients miss out on the essential advantages of resistance training.
Speedflex allows resistance exercise to be performed with minimal load on the joints and the concentric nature of the movements, minimises aches and pains following the session.
For a cardiac rehab client, fear of pushing their heart too hard is one of the biggest barriers to completely a quality exercise session.
With Speedflex, the machine responds to the effort the participant puts in, so a cardiac rehab client can exercise with the knowledge that they are in complete control of the intensity of their workout. This is the first step in getting them into the studio.
Once they are comfortable and confident, they will learn about the MyZone heart rate zones and be able to see what their heart rate is doing in real time. Again, this puts them in complete control, but also gives them the confidence to push themselves a little harder, providing a better quality workout.
Cancer comes with many varying symptoms, but it’s widely recognised that exercise supports the recovery process.
Speedflex allows a quicker return to moderate/high intensity exercise, post-surgery, than many other forms of training. The low impact session, where the client is completely in control of their effort level means they can vary their own intensity on any given day, depending on how they are feeling at that point in their own recovery process.
“The workout that helped me come off Parkinson’s medication”
At just 27 years old, Kirstie was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Over the course of the next 13 years, she experienced bouts of depression, poor stability and mobility and fatigue. In 2021, Kirstie was introduced to her local FORTIS, powered by Speedflex studio. After a few dedicated sessions for those with Parkinson’s with the trained instructors, Kirstie became hooked. As a result of her newfound exercise regime, Kirstie’s Parkinson’s symptoms reduced so much that she took the personal decision to come off her medication.
Kirstie is now confident enough with the class and in handling her symptoms that she attends FORTIS seven times a week – every evening after work, sometimes joining both evening sessions and attending both weekend mornings.
‘Since making FORTIS a regular part of my life, I no longer suffer with the stiff aches and pains and the prolonged periods of tiredness that I previously did. It has been such a lifeline for me and I look forward to going each day. If I have to miss a day due to another commitment, I soon feel stiff and tired again – which is a real motivator to keep it up.’
‘I feel like my strength, both physically and mentally has improved massively since starting at FORTIS. Which is why, after consulting my doctor, I made the personal decision to come off of my Parkinson’s medication, as I felt my new lifestyle was helping me manage my symptoms enough.’
‘I’ve made a real bond with the other regular FORTIS participants and the instructors. I call them ‘my FORTIS family’ and we often meet up outside classes for lunch or Afternoon Tea, so the class has had a real impact on my whole life.’
Kirstie Lane, 40 from Ashford, Middlesex
Overall, Speedflex supports a high quality workout for clients who would otherwise be limited in what they can achieve. A Speedflex session allows those with serious health conditions to get an exhilarating working, in a completely safe environment.
We know that not all exercise sessions are equal. It is now generally recognised that a quality session will feature moderate to high intensity exercise which incorporates resistance training, delivered in intervals but in most cases this is something which can only be achieved by already ‘fit’ people.