Cardiac sports groups meet once a week

Every Tuesday afternoon, the gym at the Herbert Quandt School in Pritzwalk becomes a playground for people with heart disease. The day before, two similar groups meet in Wittstock Rote-Mühle gymnasium.

75 students in Wittstock and Pritzwalk

“Coronary heart disease in particular, which also includes heart attacks, has now been classified as a widespread disease due to its high incidence,” explains Edon Kabashi, a specialist at the Department of Internal Medicine at the KMG Clinic in Wittstock. He has been providing medical care to the Pritzwalk and Wittstock groups for over eight years. Sports activities can improve resilience, says Edon Kabashi.

Editha Pahl uses sandbags to train participants’ coordination.
Source: Christian Bark

And so do the approximately 75 students in both cities. “My sense of balance is much better thanks to the exercises,” says participant Christine Jacob. On Tuesday, she attends Editha Pahl’s second course.

The coach has been on board since the founding of the groups and the associated sports club Drehscheibe. “Anyone with a coronary heart disease, whether congenital or not, can participate. But diabetic patients are also our target group,” the coach explains.

Cornelia Wriedt (5th from left) passes two groups on Tuesday.
Source: Christian Bark

Students are then temporary members of the association, with a doctor’s prescription they pay 19 euros, without 28 euros a month. The courses take place once a week for 90 minutes each. In Wittstock Editha Pahl fits all groups, in Pritzwalk she has the support of coach Cornelia Wriedt. The groups were partly formed by age and robustness.

Pritzwalker Manfred Schulz is the oldest participant

Manfred Schulz, for example, belongs to the first group of Cornelia Wriedt. At 92, he is the oldest participant in the Pritzwalk and has been part of the group since it was founded in 2003. “We were presented with a flyer about the offer, and my father has been with it ever since,” says his daughter Ramona Nädtke.

At 92, Manfred Schulz is the oldest participant.
Source: Christian Bark

For the 92-year-old, however, the group is also a social place. “We used to meet to play cards from time to time,” says Manfred Schulz. For him as a pensioner, the sport and the experiences in the group are a welcome change. Birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated together.

“You can do many of the exercises at home, but it’s more fun in a group,” says Cornelia Wriedt. During the Corona lockdown, some of the courses had to be canceled for several months, so she gave the participants training instructions to take home.

Small strength exercises with the rope.
Source: Christian Bark

The medical treatment – but there had never been an emergency during Edon Kabashi’s presence – and the professional support of trained trainers give the heart patients a little more security and know-how. “If we wake up on Wednesday with sore muscles in places where we did not even know there were muscles, then Conni did everything right,” says participant Horst Gerhardt.

Group Wittstock on Monday – Group Pritzwalk on Tuesday

In this case, it should be muscle building training with Thera-Bands that will give him the desired sore muscles the next morning. For him, but also for Christine Jacob and other participants, training is a good prerequisite for staying active in their free time – whether it is long walks or gardening.

The group builds muscle using Thera ligaments.
Source: Christian Bark

The exercises are varied and different tools are used. Participants practice balancing on a line of ropes. But there are also ball games or juggling with sandbags. To do this, Editha Pahl requires multiple movements of her participants at the same time. “We strengthen endurance, coordination and strength,” she explains.

Due to the Corona break, the groups in the Pritzwalk in particular lost some participants. According to Cornelia Wriedt, the “inner bastard” – her name is Norbert – won here. It is so much the more important to overcome Norbert once a week. Therefore, the coaches look forward to more participants of all ages.

The groups in Wittstock meet on Mondays between 16.00 and 19.00 in the Rote Mühle gymnasium. The groups in the Pritzwalk meet on Tuesdays between 4pm and 7pm in the Quandt Gymnasium.

By Christian Barke

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