Ingleside at King Farm Blog
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012
Six Circuit Club a Custom Workout Plan for Staying Fit
It is never too late to begin a fitness program, and when you have personalized attention, it can be a very rewarding experience.
Erich Lichota, Leisure and Fitness manager at our community in Rockville is coach of the 6 Circuit Club. This is a science based fitness program which is open to all members of Ingleside at King Farm. Currently there are 25+ members of the 6 Circuit Club, ranging in age from 60 to 90 years old. Erich evaluates and designs a specific fitness regime for each individual in the 6 Circuit Club. His goal is to encourage Ingleside members to exercise and to reach their maximum potential.
The National Institute for Health stresses the importance of exercise for longevity. This is the type of exercises they recommend, all of which are included in the regime of 6 Circuit Club members:
- Endurance activities - like walking, swimming, or riding a bike - which build "staying power" and improve the health of the heart and circulatory system
- Strengthening exercises which build muscle tissue and reduce age-related muscle loss
- Stretching exercises to keep the body limber and flexible
- Balance exercises to reduce the chances of a fall
Mickey and her husband Joe, were avid walkers prior to moving to Ingleside. “We did fast walking, 3 miles daily, for 30 years." Even so, when they started the 6 Circuit Program a year and a half ago, she told personal trainer, Erich, “There is no way I can possibly do this.” Today, she is happy to say she has done the 6 circuits in under an hour and she and Joe are now regulars in the gym, 2-3 times a week.
With a combination of cardiovascular, anaerobic (resistance training)/aerobic (spinning or stepping), and compression exercises (which strengthens bones and ligaments), Erich finds exercises for each person at their age and ability level. One circuit routine consists of 6 exercises. A club member works through the circuit, alternating between 3 upper body exercises, and 3 lower body. Switching from upper to lower body and back again, allows the other half of the person's body to rest in-between. The constant motion gives their heart a consistent workout, throughout.
Another aspect of the fitness program emphasizes improving balance and coordination. Standing on a Bosu Ball (a half round ball), members improve their ability to sense and correct imbalance.
Mickey stands on the Bosu to improve her balance. She has found it very beneficial. Her husband Joe does his stretching and balancing exercises with a large body ball.
When asked if she would recommend the 6 Circuit Club to others, Mickey is emphatic, saying “It takes a lot of work and practice, but it can’t be anything but helpful, with perseverance anybody can do it.”
Erich says Parkinson’s patients, especially, are making dramatic progress with this type of exercise. Judy, another Ingleside member, is finding the 6 Circuit exercises are helping manage her Parkinson’s disease. “I like it because it helped give structure to my workout, and Erich has me doing the exercises that are most helpful for my particular needs,” she explains. She likes working on the Bosu, and adds, “Erich is always around to guide you, laugh with you and encourage you. He brings you along slowly and knows when you are ready to do more.”
“With Parkinson’s, falling and balance are big issues,” explains Judy. “This program has improved my balance so much, that my doctor is very impressed. He gives me high marks when I go to see him. I always go right back and thank Erich.”
Initially, the objective is to complete the 6 exercises in 10 minutes. As the member is able, Erich adds more circuits, until the member is finally able to do 6 circuits in an hour or less. There are different levels of difficulty, as well, beginning, intermediate, and advanced. Erich likes to keep challenging the members out of their comfort zone, so they increase in strength and agility, over time.
Erich says he already has quite a few members who have reached the 6 circuit level, even several who are in their 90’s have reached this achievement.