If you're in the know, personal training for special populations is a phrase you will have heard before.
It used to be that any form of exercise was reserved for the young, the fit, the healthy. Fortunately, that outdated notion has run its course, and it is now accepted that there are numerous special populations for whom exercise is especially beneficial.
So let's take a look at some of these special populations, and see what exercise can do.
Special populations may include matters of the heart. heart disease remains one of the UK's leading killers, but it is also one of the conditions most likely to benefit from exercise. Indeed, the American Heart Association recently released a list of guidelines for patients with heart disease.
They recommend activities such as jogging, biking on level terrain, or lap swimming, in which energy expenditure is consistent, even over long distances or periods of time." They also suggest that activities requiring "bursts" of exertion, such as sprinting, soccer, and tennis, should be avoided. Of course, if you fall into any of these special populations, consult your doctor before beginning any exercise programme.
Diabetes is another condition that can benefit from an exercise programme - because exercising muscle cells use more sugar and oxygen than those at rest, exercise helps control blood glucose levels. It also helps insulin to work better - most of the time when you exercise, your blood sugar levels will drop.
For years it was thought that asthmatics shouldn't exercise. The opposite is in fact true, and indeed, lack of exercise can lead to a vicious cycle in children with asthma. Because they feel breathless at lower levels of activity than other children, they reduce their level of activity. The result? A population of inactive, unfit asthmatics. Exercise is an effective, inexpensive and healthy way to prevent and treat osteoporosis, because it places stress on bones, which results in increased bone mass. The most effective exercises for preventing osteoporosis are resistance training and weight bearing types.
Pregnancy and exercise certainly go together, with consideration for pregnancy nutrition as well. In addition to the usual benefits, prenatal exercise can help with posture and appearance, relief of back pain, strengthened muscles in preparation for labour, and enhanced circulation. And when the baby has arrived, post-natal exercise will promote a speedier return to pre-pregnancy weight, and increased ability to cope with the demands of a newborn baby.
So whatever ails you, talk to your doctor, and then let the benefits of exercise improve your life.