Why exercise is good for emphysema and heart attack sufferers

Meet Ken Davidson

Ken is 72 and has been a member of Health Culture Fitness Centre for many years now.  We are so impressed with Ken’s dedication to his health that we wanted to find out all his tips and how he keeps himself motivated!

HC: What was the reason you joined the gym?

Ken: Cause I was desperate! I had a heart attack in 2010 and I couldn’t walk or ride my bike anymore. If I didn’t join, I was dead – it was that simple.

I actually would have joined sooner but I didn’t realise what the building was when it was down the main street.

17 years ago I was also officially diagnosed with emphysema and from the age of 24 I had to give away playing any sports and even walking in sand was impossible. So from an early age I was limited in what I could do and even more limited now as it progresses.

How did you feel physically before starting your fitness journey?

Bloody awful! I couldn’t do anything. I had to park my car right out the front of the supermarket, I couldn’t walk anywhere or even do anything at home.

HC: How do you feel now and what improvements to your health have you had?

Ken: Bloody Brilliant!! (laughing) The biggest improvement early on was within 2-3 months my blood pressure had gone from a dangerous level to normal. This was something I couldn’t have achieved with just my walking and bike riding. I have a lot more energy now – I use to be very lethargic and couldn’t do anything. I have more energy now than I ever have (even before my heart attack) and I feel much more positive going out and being social. Before I use to lock myself up with only the tv.   

HC: How has health culture helped you in your journey?

Ken: Apart from the workouts & programs, I love the motivational quotes on the walls. I enjoy watching the others with their Personal Trainers and wish I could do what they do, so it makes me work harder. I think these people have a lot of guts cause they keep coming back (laughing).

With my emphysema I use to do Pulmonary Rehab in Albury, which was great as people understood why I needed to rest or was breathing heavy, however now I can do everything I need to here at the Gym and not need to travel.

I remember when I first started I would try and hide in the corner when I was out of breath as I was embarrassed to be so huffy and puffy but once I saw the benefits, nothing was going to stop me.

 

HC: How do you stay motivated to keep going with your health and fitness goals?

Ken: I know if I stop I’ll put the weight back on because I can’t walk or ride my bike outside anymore with my emphysema. The gym helps me keep my lugs clear and keeps me alive!

My goal is to be able to ride and walk outside again and I would be overjoyed if I could accomplish my dream of walking to the local pool, swim 50 metres and then walk home. I was a lifesaver in my early years and I also taught swimming with my own Swim School.

HC: What’s you training schedule?

Ken: 90% of the time I’m at the gym 5 days a week.

I do an hour of cardio – Treadmill 30 – 40 minutes

                                                Bike and Grinder 10 minutes each

Then I do about an hour of weights – depending on how much rest I need that day.

I also walk around my house, dodging furniture, for an hour before I come to the gym

HC: What is your favourite thing about coming to health culture?

Ken: Watching others get flogged!!!

I really enjoy watching others and seeing what they can do. I love the company and it just makes me feel good to be here.

HC: Do you have any motivational tips for anyone looking to begin their health journey?

Ken: Anybody with any breathing issues eg asthma, should be here – no matter what age.

I want to let people know that something can be done earlier because once you have emphysema it’s too late to reverse it.

Anyone I talk to I speak about Health Culture and try and encourage others to join. Once you get over that first hurdle, you see and feel the benefits and want to stay. I get lots of encouragement from being here and it just makes me feel great.

Thank you  for sharing your story Ken. Everyone at health culture admires your dedication and we draw inspiration that exercise can solve many different health issues if approached with a positive attitude like yours!