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September 07, 2012 06:16 PM

Fitness After 50

sioux falls, sd

Doctors have been telling us for years that it's important to fit exercise into our schedules every day. 

But that's not easily done when you find yourself dealing with an injury. And as you age it's more common for the exercise you need to cause the problems that prevent you from meeting those goals.

Seventy-three-year-old Ruth Schemmele first felt the aches and pains of growing older in her back.

"I would be doing things at home and I would have to stop in he middle of vacuuming, stop in the middle of all sorts of things that shouldn't have been bothering me but they would hit me. And I would sit down and have to let them pass," Schemmele said.

Ironically, those painful spasms often kept her from the exercise she needed to help solve the problem. That was until she found Welcyon, a new gym designed specifically for people over age 50.

"After the first session, I noticed they had lessened. By the time I had gone through three, I didn't have back spasms anymore. It was like a miracle," Schemmele said.

A miracle in the form of an age-specific workout, designed to get people like Schemmele back on the fitness track safely.

"There are no treadmills to reduce some of those impacts on your joints but also our state of the art low impact strength equipment which is ran with our smart card," Welcyon owner Jesse Reisch said.

Having a strength training system without the metal weights allows for a lower impact workout, which for those over 50 is a better way to go.

"All the strength equipment is on air resistance. We have a medical-grade air compressor that is a resistance, rather than free weights, where we can go up as little as one pound," Reisch said.

"I was tremendously impressed by the ease of using this equipment. There is no pounding on a treadmill. There is no lifting metal weights above my head," Schemmele said.

And now that her back problems are behind her, Schemmele has shifted her fitness focus to other areas.

"I want to improve my strength, my flexibility. I want to avoid falls," Schemmele said.

That's because she knows first-hand an all too common symptom of aging.

"I fell a year ago and fractured my wrist. And I now have a plate and nine pins. This year, I slipped and fell and broke three ribs and thought, 'This is ridiculous,'” Schemmele said.

So these days, Schemmele is no stranger to the gym, which may be why the aches and pains of growing older are now a distant memory.

"There nothing intimidating here you come in it’s your pace they will help you they will show you how to use everything," Schemmele said.

Everyone ages differently, and for Schemmele while she is proud of her age she knows her limits which is why she is glad to be at a gym that also understands her needs.

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