1st Step Rehab Fitness and Support has many success stories. Some are small wins and other are much bigger. But to me a win is a win however big or small it might be.
I started 1st Step to make exercise accessible to everyone and to allow people to build their fitness up to a point that they can live their lives as they want even with their health limitations.
I wanted to share one such story to highlight just how powerful exercise and having the right support can be. We will call my client Jane to protect her privacy.
Jane and I met in 2019 and I can remember clearly that first meeting. It had taken a lot for Jane to come along and meet me due to her high levels of anxiety and depression. But she came nonetheless and I know she felt comfortable with the group because she is still with me today. I have to emphasise how brave Jane was to take this 1st Step and I really do appreciate that this can be the hardest part of the journey.
The reason Jane approached 1st Step was because she was suffering with high levels of falls due to balance problems and her overall lack of fitness. Jane attended classes while medical investigations were ongoing to try and get to the bottom of why she was falling so frequently. She would always fall forwards and very slowly without any ability to stop herself. The low impact classes kept her going during this time and it was eventually discovered what the physical problem was. Once the medical diagnosis was made it was clear that between the physiotherapist and the low impact class, exercise was going to be her best approach in terms of long-term treatment.
As I said, for someone with anxiety and depression, getting diagnosed, understanding that diagnosis and doing something about it is not an easy task. However, Jane kept communicating with me throughout the process and she felt she could talk to me and confide in me.
Despite the lockdown and classes having to go from face to face to online, we carried on exercising alongside what her physiotherapist had prescribed. Jane stuck with the class week in and week out and as time went on it was clear we were making progress and she stopped having the falls. This was such as success and we were all so proud as a community.
Jane has carried on exercising in the low impact class and she is one of the few clients who can get onto the floor to exercise, such has been her improvement. (I always offer chair based and standing exercises as an alternative to floor exercises). Jane excelled to such an extent that the whole class would be in awe of her and would often say that she is who they aspire to be like. What a great role model she became! Jane has also become an excellent advocate for people with anxiety and any other mental health issues as she had experience of these problems herself.
The icing on the cake, so to speak, was when she came to me and said she has stopped all anxiety medication and has halved her depression medication. She recently when on holiday and her husband commented that her fitness was better than his! She could keep up with him and then some!
This is what I mean when I say I make exercise accessible to everyone. Life-altering changes have been made to Janes life simply by having the right guided exercise to build her up. Jane is still with me as maintenance is just as important and Jane is keen to keep up her good work. I am writing this blog to highlight what consistent exercise can do for you so that you understand, wherever you are starting from you can get a long way with the right support.
Jane is not an isolated story at all and if you would like to know more about taking your 1st step, then please get in touch via www.1ststeprfs.com. I am happy to have a chat and see how I can help.