Fitness and Wellness Programming

Fitness and Wellness Programming

by Dr. Martin Malkin
NCRA Conference 5 March 1999

Dr. Malkin is well known in this field and has written a book titled, Aerobic Walking.

He is currently testing his program with Pennsylvania inmates.

He thought correctional recreation programs would be a good place for wellness recreation (re-creation).

His program is a basic triad of food/nutrition, exercise and relaxation. To some it seems a little radical now, but in was not a long time ago.

The exercise component is the most effective part, followed by nutrition and then relaxation.

If you followed this program you might be able to live 125 years.

The relaxation component comes from concentrating on your heartbeat or breathing for about 20 minutes.

Takes about 2 sessions to teach the nutrition, 6 sessions to teach Aerobic walking, 1 session for getting everybody's medical clearances, and 1 session to teach relaxation.

A good part of every prisoners diet is commissary junk food. By changing this component they can have significant nutritional impact.

The commissary is interested in selling goods. As more people get healthy nutritional interests, more nutritional foods will appear in the commissary, especially nutritional snacks.

Walking can make them fit. Walk 3 times per week. Over 6 weeks move up from 10 minutes of walking to longer periods. Their walking speed is also increasing.

Aerobic walking helps with smoking cessation.

He gave us a brief demo of his Aerobic walking technique. Normally we push off the ball of our foot. If instead, we pull our heels back to propell ourselves, we use the larger muscles of our legs.

He also swings his hips forward 45 degrees with each step. He says to think of advancing your hip to get ready for the next stride.

A normal walking person "bobs" his head, but this technique results in a "gliding" head and has almost no limit in stride frequency (speed). He can walk close to 5 minute miles, but cannot sustain that speed long.

The method takes a while to learn and actually has 21 steps detailed in his book. With the inmates, he uses 6 training sessions spread over 6 weeks.

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