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Dedicated Lois An Inspiration To Fitness Staff


Dedicated Lois An Inspiration To Fitness Centre Staff

Manurewa Resident Lois Pickering Fisher proves that determination and drive can overcome physical disabilities when striving for improved health and fitness.

Lois joined the Clendon Fitness Centre three months ago. Since joining the gym she has lost an impressive 12 kilograms, but what is even more impressive is the fact that Lois has a condition called Athetoid Cerebal Palsy.

The condition occurs when damaged areas of the brain cause spasms or involuntary movements to interfere with the ability to coordinate controlled movements, for example speech, feeding and grasping.

Manukau City Council's Clendon Community Centre Manager, Paul Chidzero says, "When Lois first joined the gym her spasms were quite visible. Her speech was slurred and hard to understand. She was unable to walk unassisted.

"She started off with a programme containing only four exercises; a 15 minute bike ride, chest press, pulldowns on the cable and the leg press. Lois quickly became bored with these exercises and needed more of a challenge. So we introduced her to cable flys, seated pulley row, leg extensions, leg curls and more impressively the treadmill." said Mr Chidzero.

At first Lois could only manage one minute on the treadmill at the slowest speed of 0.8. Now she is walking for 20 - 25 minutes non-stop at a speed varying between 1.0 and 1.5.

Lois has increased the weights she is pushing and has become so determined to achieve her goals that she no longer sits in her wheelchair when doing her exercises.

Other positive changes staff have noticed include improvement in speech and her spasms seem a lot more controlled. The thing that staff feels most proud of is that Lois can now take steps unassisted and she is improving every time she comes to the gym.

Lois is currently finished participating in an intensive fitness challenge and her goals are to participate in next year's 'Round the Bays" event. She is at the gym 5 - 6 days a week for her workout and occasionally returns for a second cardio walk on the treadmill.

Paul Chidzero says, "Lois is a very determined and committed woman. She challenges and inspires others to set their goals and to go for it. She has risen to the challenge and is a true success. "Council's overall aim is to use our leisure centres to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for all residents of Manukau".

Anyone wishing to take up the 10 week fitness challenge or other programmes available at Clendon Community Centre can contact the Centre by phone on 266 1315.

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