The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Ivy Fixes Neighbors Fitness - Making Results Last

Ivy from New Zealand continues making her community healthier, one neighbor at a time. What does she do that helps so many? Here are just a few stories from her many updates:

In December 2009, Inspirational Ivy wrote me:

"Thought I would share this amusing little story.

"Yesterday, I was talking to a 64 year old woman who is a new resident to this country and she told me that she was experiencing back pain. I told her that I could help her - she was most insistent that she hated exercise so I promised that I would not have her exercising that what I would show her would be what she could do as she went about her daily life. I showed her how to lie on the floor and lift herself up on her elbows. She marveled at the instant relief. I then showed her how to squat and do lunges which she was most receptive to. I showed her how to sit up straight, shoulders back and suggested that she lift her ribs (to learn to unround the upper back instead of forcing the straightening from the shoulders or neck). I was most amused she put her hands over her rather ample breasts and lifted them up. It looked so funny. It is the first time I have had someone do that to lift her ribs."

In January 2010, this update came:

"Just the other day when I spoke to Jean she remarked how young I look. (Jean is the lady who I helped re back pain) She said that she felt envious when she compared herself at 62 with me at 73. I remarked that I could not help but be surprised as all I see are the wrinkles when I look in the mirror. No, she replied, we all get wrinkles, it is your slim, fit body plus the fact that you walk so fast. So........., there is hope for me yet!!!!! Smile,
"Hugs to you both

In January, Ivy sent me a happy e-mail. The large-chested neighbor who thought pain was due to her size was able to stop upper back pain with healthy techniques, and holding her weight in healthy positioning on her muscle, rather than letting shoulders round and slouch in painful position:

"Jean tells me that she is now free of back pain. She is lying down on her stomach lifting herself up on her elbows on a daily basis. Needless to say she is very happy with the results.

"Re the trapezius and pectoral stretch - she will be visiting me over the next few days (to check good positioning learned from it).

"Re: Merlene (Strengthen a Neighbor, Strengthen a Community) - I did not have to telephone Merlene, she called me to ask if I could vist her. She showed me how well she was doing re her balance. Also, she was delighted re her weight loss. I checked her posture and it was perfect. No longer any back pain.

"She asked if I could help re strengthening her legs. I showed her how to do lunges.

"Merlene is always a pleasure to work with. She is a delightful lady. Love and hugs to you both

At the end of January Ivy wrote again:

"Jean: I visited her at home this morning to show her both the Pectoral and Trapezius stretch. She tells me that she no longer has any pain in her back and hip. She also tells me that she has shown her daughter the back stretch and she, too, no longer has any back pain. So.........two very happy women.

"Merlene: I also contacted Merlene this morning to see how her lunges are going. She, too, is happy with her progress.

"Jean did make a comment as to how much I could help people here in the village. I replied that I do try, however, the request has to come from them personally. It is all a matter of choices. Some choose to take medicines, others do not (and use healthy ways to fix the pain without needing medicines).

"Love and hugs to you both

February brought this:

"Over the weekend, I received an e-mail from a friend who lives in Australia, telling me that she had back ache. She had had it for a week and had decided that once the weekend was over, she would go to the doctor to get some pain relief.

"I wrote back and told her to lie on the floor or bed and lift herself up on elbows. I have just received a reply saying that the pain has gone.

"Today while shopping in my local organic shop I got talking to a lady who had decided that she would shop for healthy foods instead of the usual junk food. She explained that her family had minor health problems and thought that perhaps if she changed their diet, the health of the family would improve. She noticed what I had in my shopping trolley so asked if I would mind helping her. Actually, I must admit that I did enjoy doing so. She could not believe the knowledge that I was able to pass on and was most grateful. One of the things she asked was how to make sprouts. Not a problem I replied and explained how I, personally, do sprouts. I hope I see her again soon so I can catch up on their progress.

"My shopping which usually takes 20-30 minutes took more like an hour and a half. I assure you, it was time not wasted.


Does Ivy meet people who work against themselves? Last October she wrote me about one:

"Thank you for the post re helping oneself. I must have missed your post "Somebody Please Do My Personal Responsibility For Me." (my computer would have been out of action) To be honest, I could not help but burst out laughing at some of the excuses, as I, too, hear these same words time and time again.

"As an example, about 3 years ago, a lady approached me for help re her weight. I might add that she was morbidly obese.

"I wrote her out what I believed to be a balanced diet with plenty of food so that she would not feel hungry. She was thrilled to see that she had lost 16 lbs when I weighed her the following week. For the next few weeks there were no weight losses at all. I asked her if she was following the diet. No, was her reply, you allow me too much food, so I cut down on the quantities. I then get hungry and eat what I shouldn't. This went on for 6 weeks.

"Needless to say, I gave up on her.

"This same lady now lies in bed all day. She does no exercise what so ever. Her husband does everything for her. Once in awhile I see her go out with her husband in the car.

"It is so sad. I did but try. No doubt you can tell many similar stories.

"Have a great day

Wisely, Ivy has focused her energy on others since.

Fitness Fixers Ivy Taught Neighbors:


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Helping hand photo by Paul J Everett
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.