The protective specialist as personal trainer
Protective specialists perform a number of services. In the high-risk areas in which LUBRINCO does much of its work, the most critical of these is making sure those under our care are not kidnapped or killed. However, and particularly in unknown-risk areas, most of the visible effort goes to increasing the convenience and efficiency of those under our care, and the major day-to-day worries involve automobile accidents, avoiding embarrassment and inconvenience, and health issues.
This last is very important. Often the people we deal with are busy, under stress, older, not in the best shape, and may suffer from a variety of ailments. This prompts us to take a number of precautions, from knowing that we have enough of the appropriate medications, to assuring the availability of appropriate medical facilities, to assuring that enough of the protective staff has a blood type appropriate to assure a clean blood supply if needed.
An additional area of health service can be to act as personal trainer. If the person we are protecting is willing – some are and some aren’t – and their physician has no problem with the idea, we can schedule exercise time and help them, painlessly either to stay in shape or to get in shape.
The good news is that relatively little time and equipment is necessary to deal with both aerobic exercise and strength training.
For aerobic exercise one can either walk or use the treadmills that have become so ubiquitous throughout the hotels of the world. The secret here is to use a heart monitor so you are working for a known level of training. Even the simplest heart monitor from Polar (http://www.polar.fi/polar/channels/eng/segments/Fitness.html) is fine.
To determine the appropriate level of training you calculate the maximum heart rate, which we calculate as 210 minus half the subject’s age, and then subtract ten percent of their bodyweight (in pounds) from that. Thus if the subject were sixty years old and weighed 190 pounds the maximum heart rate would be 210-30, which is 180. Subtracting 19 (ten percent of 190) from that gives us a maximum heart rate of 161.
With this figure in hand we can calculate the heart rate range for aerobic exercise, which is 70 to 80% of the maximum heart rate. In the case of our putative subject this would be a range of 113 to 129. We would round this off to a range of 115 to 130, since many monitors set in increments of 5.
Since we are trying to keep our subjects alive, not train them for the Olympics, anywhere between twenty minutes and half an hour of aerobic exercise will be fine. In fact, five minutes warm-up to hit the 115 mark is fine, followed by twenty minutes in the aerobic 115 to 130 range, followed by five minutes of cool down would be more than adequate.
It is important to remember that most people under-hydrate while exercising, so make sure they can constantly sip water. In the best of all possible worlds they will drink 8 ounces for every 15 minutes of exercise. Water can be drunk from a bottle, a glass, or a CamelBack hydration system – essentially a small backpack full of water, (http://www.camelbak.com/rec/recreation.cfm) for maximum convenience. While some initially feel silly wearing them, we use them whenever we do any serious exercise, whether it be walking, running, Nordic Track, cycling, or almost anything else.
In addition to aerobic exercise, strength training is important. Keep in mind that older people do not fall more than young people: They merely don’t have the strength to support themselves when they fall and grab onto something. For most people this is totally unnecessary and avoidable!
We recommend two sets of exercises. The first for abdominal strength, the second for everything else. How long should this take? Probably fifteen minutes a day, with equipment you can toss in your suitcase.
For those who have no training plan at hand we recommend you go to the Health for Life website (http://www.healthforlife.com/) and look at two books: Legendary Abs (https://secure.amazon-networks.com/secure-health- for-life/html/abcondit.html), and The Weightless Workout (https://secure.amazon-networks.com/secure-health-for- life/html/wtless.html).
What equipment will you need? Well the basics for the stomach exercises are a floor, or for the more advanced exercises a chinning bar (http://shop.everlastboxing.com/everlast-chinning-sit-up-bar.html) and a set of arm supports (https://secure.amazon-networks.com/secure-health-for- life/html/hardwre.html), but if you are starting with someone who is out of shape that won’t be an issue for a while.
For the strength training you will need pushup handles so that wrists are not injured (http://shop.everlastboxing.com/everlast-deluxe-pushup-bars.html), and resistance cables, which we get from the LifeLine Gym people (http://www.lifeline-usa.com/products.cfm?categoryid=2) the cables come in a variety of resistances, and you may want to start with the least demanding and work up over time. Eventually you will need a chinning bar, some chairs, and a pole, but at the beginning you will not.
Finally, it is important to add stretching to a workout, to allow the retention or recovery of flexibility. If you don’t have a stretching routine at hand, you may wish to look at Synerstretch (https://secure.amazon- networks.com/secure-health-for-life/html/stretch.html)
If you can, by your presence, urging, and support, help those you protect to achieve better health you will have done them a great service, and at little cost of time and money. And if you, the reader, are the person we are protecting, let us help you stay alive and healthy.