My name is Emmanuel (Leno) and I am 70 years old.

I have Heart disease, Diabetes, PTSD, Sleep apnea, Hypertension, Hypercholesterolemia, Chronic lower back pain, Golden staff, am vision impaired (only 5% vision in one eye) and have a hole in my lung (from cancer treatment).

As a result of my current health conditions, I am on a long list of medications. The number of medications that I am taking PUTS ME AT A HIGHER FALLS RISK (along with my vision impairment, age, lack of sensation in my feet and balance test score).

BEFORE I STARTED EXERCISING, I rarely got out of my chair, struggling to get up without my wife’s assistance. I also had little desire or motivation to get up.

My goals for my physical activity program were to:

    1. Increase my physical activity to 30mins each day – to assist in controlling my metabolic conditions (diabetes) and prevent further heart disease.
    2. Increase my confidence to walk independently in familiar areas with appropriate walking aids to reduce my reliance on my wife.
    3. Receive appropriate training to allow myself to complete an independent balance and mobility program (for the benefit of falls risk) with minimal respite or therapist involvement.

I have been seeing my Exercise Physiologist, Rhiannon, FOR ONLY 10 WEEKS but in that time I have smashed all of my goals initially set (see goals above) and continue to surprise Rhiannon with how much I am improving.

We have worked together to get me up and walking in the park next to my house with my support dog Bentley every day (sometimes twice) as well as completing a strength, balance and flexibility program daily.

I am NOW MORE CONFIDENT WALKING IN PUBLIC, which I had not been for 2 years since losing the majority of my vision. I am also ABLE TO WALK LONGER DISTANCES WITHOUT PAIN, and am MORE MOBILE & ACTIVE, doing jobs around the house such as moving firewood.

My physical improvements include a 3.5kg WEIGHT LOSS and a DECREASE OF 3cm AROUND MY WAIST! I am now not only able to get up from the lounge but am able to do a FREE SQUAT WITH NO SUPPORT (see picture below)!!!

I have IMPROVED MY MOBILITY (movement) greatly and am now better able to put my shoes on (I used to not be able to reach my feet). But the best thing of all, my wife and I have told Rhiannon, my Exercise Physiologist, that I am generally a HAPPIER PERSON since starting to exercise and that I NOW LAUGH AGAIN.

Image of Emmanuel performing strength, balance and flexibility exercisesImage of Emmanuel performing strength, balance and flexibility exercises