Some familiar faces turned out this week to test the wares of the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, as it landed at Spire Liverpool Hospital for a two-day mobile showroom.
The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill is a world first; a state-of-the-art piece of equipment that uses NASA technology to improve conditions for training or rehabilitation, set to provide huge health benefits to local people.
The Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Tony Concepcion, Hollyoaks actress Nicole Barber-Lane and current English Bantamweight Champion Ryan Farrag came along to hear how the treadmill could benefit them and cater for their individual needs.
The Anti-Gravity Treadmill enables people to exercise safely and in little or no pain, even if mobility is impaired as a result of injury or illness. It has revolutionised exercise programmes for a wide population of people, from rehabilitation post-surgery, to those looking to reach personal fitness and weight loss goals; and indeed professional sports people looking to maintain peak performance.
The treadmill uses Differential Air Pressure Technology to reduce a person’s bodyweight by up to 80%, effectively ‘lifting’ and supporting them whilst they walk, run or exercise.
Nicole Barber-Lane was the first to try out the technology. Nicole is currently training to cycle in the TriLiverpool event this coming Sunday. She said:
“It was an unusual but really enjoyable experience. I’m keen to get back into running, but since training for the London Marathon in 2008, I have experienced periods of pain in my knees and feet. The feeling of weightlessness really did help reduce the pressure though, and I’m sure the treadmill could help me retrain to run regularly again.”
The Lord Mayor was next to don the AlterG trousers. He said he was keen to see how the treadmill could help him to improve and maintain his physical fitness, which he feels is important in his role.
“Being Lord Mayor can, of course, be physically demanding. There’s barely a moment to stand still – I’m on my feet all day, often from very early in the morning to late into the evening.
“I try to train every morning with some stretches and a short walk, but was very interested when I heard about the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill. I have to say it was a great experience. I’d urge everybody to come and have a go, even if you’re not a professional athlete or training for anything in particular, it’s important to maintain your physical health. It is something I make sure I promote, as part of Healthy Liverpool.
“It has been a pleasure to meet the team at Spire Liverpool Hospital this morning, they have been very helpful in passing on some hints and tips into how I can stay on my feet for longer.”
Boxer Ryan Farrag is about to begin a rigorous training regime to compete for the European Bantamweight title in winter. He said:
“Of course, I train hard anyway to make sure I maintain optimum weight. But having a chat to the team here, the anti-gravity treadmill is a means to train harder for longer, and safely. It means I can run and train for longer hours without worrying about the impact on my body, which is a great thing as I need to be in tip top condition.
“The next few months will be an important phase in my career as I prepare to fight for the European title and I’m to stay in touch with the team at Spire to see if we can build the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill into my schedule.”
Ian Rodger, head of physio at Spire Liverpool Hospital said:
“In very simple terms, the AlterG treadmill reduces a person’s bodyweight to alleviate the impact on the lower body when training, meaning you can increase your cardiovascular fitness and develop your running technique without overloading your tendons, ligaments or bones. By using air in a pressure controlled chamber to gently lift the user, any pain experienced through weight bearing is alleviated, so you can see why it is of particular benefit to those in recovery.
“In more general terms though, the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill really does make for a unique training experience. The feeling of weightlessness and the reduced impact on joints means that professional athletes can indeed train harder, for longer.”
Spire Liverpool Hospital have a static AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill in their private gym, and are currently the only hospital in the Liverpool City Region to offer public access to this equipment.
Consultant orthopaedic knee surgeon at Spire Liverpool Hospital, Mr Andrew Taylor added:
“The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill we have here at Spire Liverpool is often used by athletes to speed up recovery following various types of lower limb surgery or injury, to help them back into their sport quicker and more safely.”
“More and more regularly though, we’re seeing the treadmill used by sports men and women in preparation for events in the pursuit or simply as means to optimise and maintain peak performance.”
The mobile showroom took place on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd July, but Spire Liverpool Hospital are the only hospital in Merseyside to house a publicly-accessible anti-gravity treadmill at their gym on Greenbank Road. For more information visit www.spirehealthcare.com/liverpool/physiotherapy/