2:42 PM EST, December 7, 2011
It's not always easy to follow that classic advice, "Stand on your own two feet."
That's where Mike Alalof comes in. He's a 58-year-old bodybuilder and former prizefighter. And he says you can get a great workout by sitting down.
"My big shtick is exercising from a seated position," says Alalof, who created YouTube videos based on classes he teaches in Montgomery County, Md.
Whether you're injured, ailing, overweight, disabled, stuck all day at a desk job or just plain tired, veteran trainer Alalof is absolutely certain that he can get you moving. And that's not just talk.
Some 18 years ago, soon after opening one of the several gyms he has operated over his long fitness career, Alalof was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. "I came from the Mr. America, muscleman, Mr. Macho background. It was devastating." For several years he used a wheelchair, he says.
But little by little he got back on his feet and became a fitness advocate for those who struggle with an exercise regimen. On his website, fitnessreinvented.com, he even invites phone calls from those with challenging conditions.
Whether you're disabled or not, Alalof's mantra is, "Do what you can do, not what you can't."
"People always do something they can't, and they get frustrated and quit," he says.
The frustration is especially high for people with packed schedules that tie them to their desk or those with limited mobility or who wrestle with the effects of chemo and medications. This is why Alalof preaches: "Everybody can do something. I say, 'That's OK. Little by little you can do more." (But always check first with your doctor, he advises.)
For a quick sample of what Alalof is talking about, search for his name on YouTube and click on "MS-Seated Exercise Program," or click here. You'll need a chair.
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