As we mark National Heart Disease Awareness month in February, it is a time to remember just how important heart health is to the average person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year – that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. And heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
Day in and day out, our YMCA facilities are used by members to improve their health, including issues related to the heart. Y member and Hamilton resident, John Tobey, had a heart condition. It required visits to a heart specialist every six months and many stress tests to examine his heart performance. Over the last three years, John reports that his doctor noticed improvements in his heart.
"The doctor asked a lot of questions about the physical training I receive at the Sterling Y," he says. "I explained that my personal trainer, Barbara Morrissey, has set up a special program of varied exercises in order to address my medical needs."
John outlined for his doctor the actual exercises he does during each training session. In addition to these twice weekly sessions, Barbara has also suggested additional exercises for John to do at home to supplement in the in-Y training.
"Her encouraging attitude has helped me to work more diligently both at home and at the YMCA," he says.
Recently, the heart doctor told John that his heart is in much better shape now than it was several years ago, and he attributes it to John's physical training at the Y.
"He is amazed at the level of improvement, something that he had felt was not possible for me with the particular type of heart condition I had at my age (69). He told me that he wished more of his patients would take advantage of such a program with a personal trainer at the Y. He feels many of his patients would see a noticeable improvement in their overall health and in the performance of their heart."
John highly recommends that others who are dealing with a similar medical condition take advantage of the excellent programs at the Y.
"And I would like to highly recommend Barbara who has a good deal of experience training clients with similar medical conditions and limitations."