Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

April 15, 2014

Area nurses learn fitness from renown instructors

BLUEFIELD — By BOB REDD

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Marty Lotito has deep roots in Bluefield. The playground in City Park bears the name of his grandfather, Tony Lotito Sr., who also coached football at Bluefield High School and Bluefield College. Marty’s father, Tony Jr., played the sport for the Beavers and West Virginia University.

Lotito is in town along with Mike Flynt presenting a program to nurses at Bluefield Regional Medical Center. Flynt received national attention in 2007 when at the age of 59 he returned to Sul Ross College in Texas to play football.

Tuesday the duo made three presentations to nurses from BRMC to introduce fitness techniques designed to assist nurses in their day-to-day routines.

“We look at nurses because they care for so many people and we want to care for them and care for their health,” Lotito said. “We want to help nurses prevent injuries and be there to serve them because they help so many people.”

Tuesday evening’s 90-minute session at the Greater Bluefield Community Center attracted around 20 health professionals who listened to and then participated in exercises demonstrated by Flynt.

A former strength and conditioning coach at the University of Nebraska, University of Oregon and Texas A&M University, Flynt talked of how he returned to the gridiron and played at the age of 59. He compared athletes and nurses.

“Nurses and athletes both get it done and nurses are athletes,” Flynt said. “An athlete’s greatest asset is their health.”

The Texas native who now lives in Tennessee said he began working with nurses and those in the health industry after speaking with a health professional who approached him and asked for help. Flynt said he the average age of a nurse is 53 and the average weight of patients is going up and the person asked him to make suggestions.

“I started doing research on your industry and I looked at it through my skill set,” Flynt said. “At those three universities I was responsible for training all men’s and women’s intercollegiate sports. Training athletes was something I had done for years. That’s how I looked at your industry when I began looking at nurses.”

The key lies in one’s power zone. That area, Flynt pointed out, is where nurses should be lifting patients and where exercises should be focused to build one’s stamina and strength in order to prevent injury.

“It is where your leverage is at its greatest and your strength is at its maximum and you are virtually at zero risk of hurting yourself,” Flynt explained. “That power zone is an area from mid-thigh up to your shoulders and close to your body with your feet wider than shoulder width.”

Flynt said that while a nurse may not be able to move larger patients, using the power zone technique would prevent injury.

“Once you are in this position, the closer you can stay to your body with anything you do, with your knees bent, you can avoid hurting yourself,” Flynt added.

After the discussion it was time for demonstration and participation. Each nurse in attendance was provided with a bag which included tension bands around which the exercise program is designed. Flynt demonstrated and attendees joined in doing different exercises with the bands, all designed to strengthen one’s power zone.

The program, which is sponsored by Bluefield Regional Medical Center, is a 90-day group program that meets three times a week, if one chooses to participate.

The program is one in which participants take part at their own level though in a group, providing group support.

“Do what’s best for you,” Flynt said. “If you have shoulder problems, do what you can.”

Lotito and Flynt have been long-time friends, meeting while attending the same church in Tennessee. Lotito, who played football and baseball at Richlands High School, is the CEO of Ignite Health Group, the licensee of the  Powerzone Nurse Program.

“I had a fitness business, was a personal trainer and now I’m working with Mike to help nurses,” Lotito added.

A movie is in the works based on Flynt’s return to college football at age 59 with the possibility of Bruce Willis portraying Flynt. The screenplay of “The Senior” has been completed.

A meet and greet will take place in Conference Room B at BRMC today from 11 a.m. to noon where the community can come and meet Flynt and Lotito.

Editor’s Note: A feature on Flynt’s participation as a 59-year-old football player will be in Thursday’s Daily Telegraph.

—bredd@bdtonline.com

                                                                                   

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