Prevent Osteoporosis With Easy Workout

Once-a-week, slow-cadence exercise program builds balance and strength.

Dr. Brown and personal fitness coach Alex

She never went so far as to refer to herself as the “veterinarian to the stars,” but early in her career, while practicing at a clinic not far from Hollywood, Beth Brown, DVM, treated an intriguing array of well-known animal actors.

“Kipling, one of the Exxon tigers, was among them,” Dr. Brown recalls of the oil company’s ad campaign. “He had squamous cell carcinoma. I treated some elephants, too. And Bruno, the bear from the TV series Gentle Ben. I trimmed his nails. When bears aren’t shredding trees, their nails get pretty long.”

Dr. Brown, 62, has long since moved from Southern California and practices here in Central Florida at a “holistic-based clinic” that offers acupuncture, chiropractic and rehab care as well as standard forms of care for animals.

“We get a smattering of other animals, too, but it’s mostly dogs, cats and horses that we treat,” says Dr. Brown, who spends her downtime around animals as well, competing in field trials that test the hunting instincts of bird dogs.

Between her vocation and hobbies, Dr. Brown doesn’t have much time to exercise and stay fit. That’s fine, though, because nine years ago she found a workout solution that fits her schedule perfectly at 20 Minutes to Fitness.

“I knew I needed to do something for myself, in part because I was facing replacement surgery on my left knee,” Dr. Brown recalls. “I mostly wanted to strengthen the muscles around that knee so that my physical therapy and rehab would go easier.

“The other thing was, I was worried about getting osteoporosis because my bone density numbers were going down. The owner of 20 Minutes to Fitness is one of my clients, and after she told me about the program, I decided to give it a try.”

Tailored Training

At 20 Minutes to Fitness, clients work out one-on-one with a nationally certified personal fitness coach, who creates and supervises an individualized exercise routine. The program is designed to do what the business name implies: achieve results through a weekly 20-minute session.

The workouts are structured around an exercise method known as slow-cadence training. The coach guides the client’s pace and form as weights are lifted in ultraslow movements on highly specialized equipment. Repetitions during each workout take approximately 20 seconds, thereby maximizing muscle performance.

The slow-paced movements create continuous tension on muscle fibers. This allows clients to benefit more than they would from a traditional strength-training program involving three or four hours per week.

“While each repetition in a traditional workout lasts for one or two seconds up, then one or two seconds down, we stretch that out to a 10- to 12-second count,” says Blake, general manager at 20 Minutes to Fitness in downtown Sarasota, one of three Florida locations. “It’s a huge difference that achieves far better results.”

“It’s a great program that can help a lot of people in a lot of ways, and you just can’t beat the convenience.”
– Dr. Brown

Each routine consists of six to seven exercises of two minutes each, with the goal being to reach what is known as peak performance. When muscles reach this level during strength training, blood flows to the site. That supercharges the body and helps it burn fat while it rebuilds and strengthens the muscle naturally.

“Participants get the maximum benefit through one 20-minute workout per week,” explains Angela Begin, part-owner of 20 Minutes to Fitness. “By going slowly, we get down deeper into the muscle fibers and force them to work at their peak performance. We work the entire body to keep it strong.”

The program has years of research and plenty of science behind its success. The equipment features a patented double-stacking system, where weight can be increased in increments of two pounds instead of the traditional five, 10 or 20 pounds. The equipment also is calibrated to work specific muscle groups without putting undue stress on joints or ligaments.

“We have clients who are planning to have hip or knee replacement surgeries, and their doctors refer them to us because they know we can help them build the muscle around those joints prior to surgery,” Angela says. “This allows for a quicker recovery after surgery. Some clients have been able to hold off on surgery altogether because they’ve built up the muscle around the joint and may no longer need surgery.”

Research shows that in addition to improving strength, slow-cadence training can improve the immune system and balance, increase energy, help control arthritis, add bone density, fight symptoms of diabetes and reduce back pain.

“Most of our clients are people who want to get fit or stay fit and don’t have the time or don’t want to spend hours in a gym and possibly risk injury,” Angela adds. “They want a safe, quiet, private studio environment. That, and the opportunity to build back the muscle that people lose as they age is what we offer.”

Angela points out that no client is too young or old.

“We have teenagers who come in as well as people in their 90s,” she observes. “We have clients who have never worked out as well as athletes. But no matter who you are, we build your strength from where you are today, which is why we encourage people to come in and learn about this unique system and try it out.

“We offer a complimentary orientation, with no obligation to continue, which is a great way to make an educated decision about whether or not the 20 Minutes to Fitness program will work for you.”

Bone Builder

Dr. Brown started working out at 20 Minutes to Fitness for two reasons: to build strength around her knee in advance of replacement surgery and to ward off osteoporosis, a bone condition in which diminished bone density can lead to crippling fractures.

The brief, once-a-week sessions have helped her achieve those objectives and more.

“The 20 Minutes to Fitness workouts definitely helped me strengthen the muscles around my knee before the surgery,” she confirms. “They also made my rehab easier and allowed me to recover more quickly from the surgery.

“Another thing they’ve done is strengthen my legs. After the surgery, I had some trouble getting up on horses, which I ride as part of the field training. But thanks to the 20 Minutes to Fitness workouts, I can mount my horse from the ground again with no problem.

“The other benefit is what the workouts have done for my bone density. Not long after I first started going to
20 Minutes to Fitness, I had a bone density scan, and it showed that my bone density had actually increased.

“My doctor was like, Bone density doesn’t go up, and I was like, Well, this shows that it has gone up. Since then, it has stabilized, but at a higher rate than it was nine years ago. So, 20 Minutes to Fitness has helped me in a lot of ways.”

Dr. Brown is so pleased with the results of her workouts and the convenience of them that she has recommended the program to others, including a woman with osteoporosis.

“She was originally a little bit worried about doing the exercises right, and I said, “You don’t have to worry because you have a personal trainer with you at all times who makes sure you’re doing everything right and are always safe.

“I also told her that they keep an eye on you to make sure you’re getting the maximum benefit from the workouts. They’re very particular about that, and I told her that they never push you, although they do challenge you because they want you to improve.

“I told her that the workouts have done wonders for me, and I recommend them to anyone. I think it’s a great program that can help a lot of people in a lot of ways, and you just can’t beat the convenience.”

© FHCN article by Roy Cummings. Photo by Jordan Pysz. mkb
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