Robert Davidson, 83, a stroke victim, gently is lifted out of his wheelchair by assistant physical therapist, Amy League. Davidson jokes while League places him on the back machine. Once the weights are adjusted for his particular exercise regime, Davidson is instructed to pull himself forward and back. His movement is slow but steady as League encourages him to continue.
Bike is senior's favorite
After exercising, when Davidson is asked how he feels about working on the equipment, he smiles and says the exercise bike is his favorite. "I can ride that bike like this," Davidson says, sitting in his wheelchair with his arms spread like a wings on a bird. "Look mom, no hands! It makes me feel good."
League says that the bike loosens stiff muscles and joints on Davidson.
League has worked with patients for five years. She says when the residents were told about the equipment they wanted to try it out immediately.
"Some come to exercise, others come for therapy."
Seniors workout two to three times per week for no more than 20 minutes per session.
"We set goals for the patients. One goal is to get participants out of a wheelchair and upgraded to a walker," League says.
The equipment allows residents to begin exercising at a low level and progress at their own rate. Each participant has his own chart and is monitored during the workout by a therapist assigned to each resident. The therapy team was trained on the equipment by a Nautilus representative from Chicago.
Seniors exercise on leg presses, neck and back machines, triceps press and a compound rowing machine. Combined, the Nautilus equipment increases muscle strength, enhances joint flexibility, allows seniors to walk longer distances, increase cardiovascular endurance, improves blood pressure, and decreases arthritic pain.
The equipment is available for residents only and early each morning they have something else to look forward to - a good workout.