Connie found the fitness prescription and expertise she needed to remedy pain and weakness and return to her active lifestyle.
In January 2022, Connie Murzyn, 57, began a program that ultimately has changed her life. Now she’s back to her active, outdoor self, able to move and play.
“For a few years I had been dealing with strange, debilitating hip flexor issues that kept me from my passions of snowboarding, snowshoeing and bicycling,” says Connie. “Even after a simple walk I would have so much pain I couldn’t do much for a few days. It was so frustrating and depressing.”
Connie felt that her leg and gluteal muscles weren’t engaging. It seemed her hip flexors were doing all the work and, consequently, would get overworked and tender. To stay in shape and improve, she tried online fitness classes, but honestly, she just couldn’t move well during the workouts. Instead of helping, it seemed exercise was increasing her muscle imbalance and injury. She became so physically challenged by muscle imbalance and weakness that she could barely stand from a seated position. It scared her. She needed help.
A friend told Connie about the University Hospitals Safe Start program. Safe Start is a health care provider-referred exercise program for those who have special health needs or who simply want to jumpstart healthy habits. The program is offered at the LiveHealthy Fitness Center in Mentor. In Safe Start, participants can work toward their goals with the support and guidance of health care providers and fitness experts. Safe Start includes 60 days of LiveHealthy membership for just $60, but focuses on a specific track – such as aquatics, arthritis, back pain, general health or heart health – based on the client’s health needs. The program begins with a fitness consultation and assessment.
Excited to get her fitness, strength and active life back on track, Connie joined the Safe Start program and met with a LiveHealthy fitness trainer for her initial assessment. The two discussed her hip pain and muscle weakness and the trainer built a strength program – a fitness prescription – for her. The exercise program included corrective patterns to activate muscles that were dormant and to stop overusing other muscle groups. Connie’s exercises focused on activating her glutes and hamstrings, learning how to brace her stomach to use her core, and more.
In addition to following her Safe Start fitness prescription, Connie chose to sign up for personal training for an additional fee. In order to overcome her issues, she felt it was important to have a personal trainer help her understand muscle physiology, biomechanics and proper body alignment.
“I can’t tell you how blessed I was to have the expertise of my trainer and coach!” Connie says. “He heard what I said about certain muscles not engaging and understood. And with his knowledge of the body and exercise science, he was exactly what I needed. Not only did he help me do exercises to relieve my issues, he educated me along the way in how the body, brain and nervous system work together to retrain muscle movement. I felt so safe and confident in his care.”
Connie followed her exercise program and met with her personal trainer two to three times a week. The trainer made adjustments to the exercises as necessary so Connie could gain the most benefit in getting her muscles engaged. Then it happened. After one of her workouts, she was climbing the stairs at LiveHealthy. Suddenly she realized her legs and glutes were actually working to climb the stairs! Her hip flexors weren’t doing all the work. It was the first time that had happened in a very long time.
“That was the best feeling ever!” Connie exclaims. “It was a turning point for my overall well-being, both physical and mental. It gave me the confidence and motivation to get back out and play. Once again I can do those activities I love.”
LiveHealthy Fitness Center
UH Brunner Sanden Deitrick Wellness Center
8655 Market Street