ElderLaw News-The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. — MD, VA, DC
ElderLaw News

ElderLaw News is a weekly e-newsletter that brings you reports of legal developments and other trends of vital interest to seniors and their advocates. This newsletter is brought to you by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., William S. Fralin, Esq., President., William S. Fralin, Esq., President.

Adaptive CrossFit

One of the most popular workout programs today is CrossFit.

CrossFit boxes, the gyms where CrossFit athletes exercise, are springing up all across the US and in many other places throughout the world. The workout program now even hosts international competitions.

What exactly is CrossFit? According to www.crossfit.com, “CrossFit…is defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity).” It’s a wonderful concept – the individual’s own body becomes the principal instrument in exercise rather than relying on machines to do much of the work. Some equipment is used in CrossFit, but it doesn’t rely on equipment for the bulk of the workout. Box jumps, pull-ups, push-ups, and lifting weights are some of the typical activities in a WOD (workout of the day). WODS are varied from day to day to maintain interest. While a certain number of activities are recommended to be accomplished within a certain time frame, those who cannot complete them at that level are encouraged to “scale” them to their capability level. Thus, if one cannot do a push-up in the normal way, a “scaled” push-up would be to do it on one’s knees, while maintaining the typical push-up stance. Or if everyone else is doing 15 push-ups in 15 minutes, a “scaled” version might be to do 10 in 15 minutes. CrossFit is the creation of Coach Greg Glassman over several decades.

Perhaps it was not such a far stretch for Anna Woods of McPherson, Kansas, a certified Level 1CrossFit instructor, to develop the concept of CrossFit adapted for those with physical and mental disabilities. However, she is to be commended for adapting it. Now individuals with disabilities in her area of the country have the opportunity to participate in an exercise regime, just like anyone else. She offers classes for people in wheelchairs and has other classes for those who can walk, but may have developmental delays, such as Down syndrome, or have mild physical impairments. And this is where her creative bent comes into play. She seems to have an innate sense as to how to work with this population. She uses music they like (Michael Jackson is a favorite), while pairing it with movements they already know, such as those used in cleaning a kitchen. For those in wheelchairs to do a pull-up, she ties stretch bands to a cone in the center of the group. The participants then pull on grips attached to the bands, and pull as far as their range of motion permits.

Along the way, Anna has found that repetition is the key. With a lot of repetition before another new concept is introduced, these individuals can learn to perform and participate in ways they never thought possible. They also are incredibly responsive to music. Music just seems to make it a more interesting experience and occupies the mind while hands, arms, and legs are occupied. The result is a tremendous increase in self-esteem for people who may have felt left out of the fitness movement. Kudos to Anna Woods of Kansas!

(Anna Woods with Emily Beers, “Lifeline to Independence,” The CrossFit Journal, October 2013)



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The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. is an elder law firm. We represent older persons, disabled persons, their families, and their advocates. The practice of elder law includes estate planning, estate and trust administration, powers of attorney, advance medical directives, titling of assets and designations of beneficiaries, guardianships, conservatorships, and public entitlements such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and SSI, disability planning, income tax planning and preparation, care management, and fiduciary services. For more information about The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C., please visit our website at http://www.chroniccareadvocacy.com.

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