Alan Wentworth, MD shares his life with his wife, Nancy; his four children, Michael, Sue, Peg and Richard; and his dog, Jack the Beagle. At the age of 84 Alan’s success is enjoying an active and rewarding retirement and his goals are organizing their mess, teaching celestial navigation, traveling and keeping engaged and more or less current. Read about Alan’s Cardiac Rehab journey…
What motivated you to begin your journey? My former wife, Ruth developed coronary artery disease in 1987 and began an exercise program as part of her treatment. I came with her and found that my stamina wasn’t optimum, so I continued to exercise with her. During that time, I made many friends in the program and decided to continue with it. After my own bypass surgery in 1998, I continued the Phase II Program at Bellin Fitness when it was located at the old Whitney School building and continue to do so at their current location in Bellevue. During my days of practice, it was unusual for folks to survive for 18 years after cardiac re-vascularization surgery. I can’t help but believe the exercise program at Bellin Fitness contributed to my good fortune.
What obstacles did you have to overcome? Mostly motivational! As one ages, it becomes more and more inviting to remain at home and avoid what has become strenuous activities in the exercise program. However, the good friends in the program result in enough “peer pressure” to keep me coming and the results are positive enough to encourage continuance as well.
What part did Bellin Fitness play in helping you? The maintenance of muscle tone and balance skills helped me to continue an active lifestyle that includes boating, property maintenance and attendance at sporting events. Keeping track of and controlling blood pressure is reassuring and probably helpful in maintaining my intellectual abilities. The expertise of the trainers is not to be minimized. Over the years, they have been inspirational and expert.
How has your life changed? Well there’s is no doubt that the exercise program takes up time, both during and after. As we slow down with age, time becomes important, it seems. But for me the advantages outweigh the downfalls…so I keep coming. The days when exercise made a big difference in my appearance and muscle mass are long gone but to have maintained much of my ability to do things over the last 30 years has been a big dividend.
What advice would you give to help others? Certainly the addition of a routine workout for cardiac, pulmonary and neoplastic patients can be worthwhile but with that aside, I think that especially for retirees routine workouts can result in a better quality of life. Recovery of any kind in your later years is slow and time consuming at best. Many have found the end result to be better if enrolled in a exercise/fitness program during and after the recovery period.
If one can minimize the chances of a future fall, a stroke, or another heart attack, the advantages of such a program seems to be worthwhile. Furthermore, when a senior does encounter medical issues, they are better prepared to begin recovery if they are fit to begin with.