A Boomer Couple’s Wellness Journey with Barrow
At age 60, Tom Beal was fairly set in his ways. He and his wife Janet had built a successful business as entrepreneurs, raised two beautiful daughters, now ages 27 and 29, and the pair was essentially living the American dream and preparing to enjoy their golden years.
Unfortunately, their idyllic American lifestyle also included some unhealthy habits — indulging in fast foods and not making exercise part of their daily routine.
“We have always been too busy working and never made enough time for ourselves,” said Janet. “We knew the importance of wellness and exercise, but it was always put on the back burner.”
Fortunately, the Beals happen to be close personal friends of Raj Singh, MD and medical director for Barrow Brain & Spine’s rehab center in Scottsdale. “Dr. Singh told us about a new doctor-supervised wellness program at Barrow and we both decided to get on board,” said Janet. “Tom and I work together, own a business together, and now we wanted to support each other by making healthy changes in our lifestyle so that we could enjoy many more happy years together.”
The Wellness Program at Barrow consists of a three-phase approach incorporating proper health and nutrition, sensible weight loss, and a tailored fitness program.
“We started with medical evaluations for Janet and Tom, including health history, blood work and a metabolic and hormonal evaluation to assess where they are today,” said Dr. Singh. “In this way, I can understand if there are any abnormalities in thyroid function, blood lipids or hormones and we can focus on correcting these issues before addressing anything else.”
Dr. Singh explained that correcting these types of abnormalities will generally help patients achieve weight loss, improve energy, vitality and sleep.
As Dr. Singh suspected, Janet and Tom’s results showed high cholesterol and a slight abnormality in white blood cell count. “Considering these results, I recommended a tailored exercise program for the Beals,” said Dr. Singh.
Tom had never worked out in his life! Therefore, they decided to start slowly and work with an exercise coach for 20 minutes, twice a week using seven different strength training machines for a workout similar to circuit training. “Dr. Singh explained that this program is designed to give you the best workout in a short amount of time,” said Janet. They were told to do eight reps on each machine at a steady pace in order to combine cardio, resistance and strength training.
“Tom became addicted to it,” said Janet. “It became hard to get him out of the gym.”
The couple has now been routinely working out for the past year and Janet reports that she is 70 percent stronger and Tom is 45 percent stronger. “We became so comfortable with our workouts– and felt so full of energy– that we decided to branch out and start taking dance lessons too,” said Janet.
What surprised the couple the most was the amount of fun they were having on their journey of getting healthier together. “Eating better was also easier than expected– although Tom still can’t believe there is sugar in Oreos,” Janet laughed.
The couple went back to Dr. Singh after six months for a follow up evaluation. “We were so excited to learn that our cholesterol came down significantly and our bloodwork looked great.”
The pair continue to meet with Dr. Singh regularly to stay on track with their program. “We are so grateful for his extensive evaluation and treatment recommendations and we have the added comfort of knowing we are in good hands should we feel our health slipping in some way,” said Janet.
“In motivated individuals, results can often be surprising and enriching in ways patients hadn’t imagined at the start. By making a few simple and proactive commitments to wellness, Tom and Janet are not only taking steps to prevent injury and disease, but they are also enjoying life more than ever,” said Dr. Singh. “That’s the power of being proactive!”
As they continue to live their lives to the happiest and healthiest extent possible, the Beals would no doubt agree with Dr. Singh.
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