Work and play. Indulge and regulate. Exercise and relax. Participate but pace your involvement.
Regardless of age, a healthy lifestyle demands commitment with balance.
According to certified personal trainer and fitness adviser Suze Crowley, “Balance is a big word with lots of meanings. I emphasize it is never too late and never too little.”
For more than 25 years, Crowley has served others. Although she semiretired two years ago to spend more time with family and on personal projects, she still works three days a week at FitnessWorks of Morro Bay or helps clients through her personal training business, A.I.M. — Accentuate Improve Motivate.
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“I missed working with people,” she said. “Seniors seem to be my forte.”
Crowley explained the literal concept of balance.
“As we get older, we have physical changes that challenge our balance,” she said. “Vision, bone density, posture changes and alertness — these changes contribute to balance issues that may cause falls and other procedures.
“I don’t mean to be trite, but if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. I work on the core muscles that give us strength and self-confidence.”
When her daughter, Nicole, was a year old, Crowley discovered aerobics at the Morro Bay Community Center.
“I was asked to take over the Off Your Rocker class,” the trainer said. “I loved choreographing the movements to the music and taught classes for Morro Bay Recreation.”
Foot surgery slowed her down.
“I was also a physical therapist aide for TherapyWorks (of Morro Bay),” Crowley said. “I wanted to teach Fit for All classes at FitnessWorks. It was a natural progression after therapy for many clients.”
She taught choreographed fitness classes five days a week, each with a different routine.
“People knew me as the crazy lady walking the streets of Morro Bay with earbuds making strange movements,” she said. “I was practicing while walking to work.”
Today she focuses on personal training.
“Some people need the motivation of a trainer to keep up their exercise program,” she said. “Others might need to get started.”
Crowley said one client signed up for balance training because he loved to fish in area creeks but felt tippy on the pebbles in the streams and didn’t want to risk a fall.
“Fear of falling, low blood pressure, an inner ear problem, changes in vision are some contributors to a balance problem,” Crowley said. “One exercise I do to test my balance is standing on one leg while brushing my teeth.”
A fall is the obvious warning sign that balance training would be helpful. But if one stumbles at curbs or on uneven sidewalks, or trips over the dog, it is probably time to focus on balance to prevent a future fall.