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Vernon seniors find positive ‘little victories’ at the gym

Coach helps people regain strength and life back

EDITOR’S NOTE: Gyms are currently closed under the latest provincial health order, in effect until Jan. 18

Don MacLeod

Special to The Morning Star

I have been teaching sports and fitness almost all my life.

I started coaching when I was in high school in the early 1970s and have never stopped. I have coached youth soccer, hockey, basketball and baseball.

I also coached all of my men’s teams in those sports. As part of my coaching, I had to take different strength training courses and eventually taught strength and conditioning to my athletes. I moved up into teaching power lifting and body building.

About 22 years ago, after moving to Vernon, I took some courses in working with seniors in the weight room. I ‘saw the light’ and fell in love with this form of exercise.

I saw the huge benefits of doing a ‘basic’ type of strength training that gave us huge benefits and very little risk.

I really don’t know why people don’t all do this type of workout all the time instead of the grunting and groaning of the way more intense exercises that can do a lot of harm to our bodies.

I now run circuit classes for seniors at Snap Fitness in the Landing Plaza. I get really excited almost every day when someone tells me about their ‘little victories.’

A lady joined my class a number of years ago because she noticed that her strength was dwindling. She travels a lot and she, nor her traveling companions could put their carry on luggage up into the overhead compartment.

After coming to class for a while she now puts all of hers and all her friends’ luggage up.

Another client could never climb out of the water, up into her boat, she always needed help.

This past summer, she told me that she didn’t need help any more, she could climb out on her own. Another ‘little victory.’

There are so many others who tell me of little things they notice, easier gardening and housework. Some people get back into the sports they used to play as now they have a little more strength and flexibility.

We also have many big improvements as well.

I’ve seen people get off of their blood pressure medication, as lifting weights can open up your blood vessels and the blood pressure can lower.

Cholesterol and sugars are processed more efficiently and levels can be lowered.

I retired six years ago, but I am so glad I returned to this fitness industry that gives me so many positive results, both for me personally, but mainly for all my wonderful clients!

READ MORE: Hospital staff thanked for saving lives in Vernon

READ MORE: B.C. closes gyms and bars, bans indoor organized events over holidays as Omicron surges


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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