Keiser Part of Inspiring Recovery

Spring in Wisconsin is an invigorating time, an end to the cold and snow and a re-acquaintance with sun and activity. Dan Erschen will forever remember the spring of 1990 for very different reasons. An unknown medical disorder ravaged his body. Within three days Erschen was unable to walk or feed himself. It took sixteen months and intensive therapy before Erschen was able to walk again.

One day he accompanied his wife to a local fitness club, Westwood Health and Fitness. Intrigued, he stepped onto an elliptical, a Keiser M5 Strider. Erschen struggled for five minutes but left the club determined to return and improve. Within five months he had worked up to forty-five minutes on the Keiser M5 and his health had significantly improved.

Ten years later Erschen suffered another attack. After a hospitalization, Erschen’s attacks were diagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis. He realized exercise was vitally important and that it should be done on Keiser equipment. “The key to making progress with MS is smooth movement and doing it as long as possible consistently. You need to be able to raise and lower the heart rate in order to get the adrenaline and endorphins working and healing,” Erschen explained. “The Keiser equipment is very MS friendly because it’s smooth on the joints and allows them to do this safely even if they struggle with mobility.”

Erschen expanded his workouts to include the Keiser M3 indoor fitness cycle and the Keiser M3 Total Body Trainer. The unique power output display on each of the three pieces of Keiser equipment was an essential part of Erschen’s progress. “Building up to longer time frames is important,” he said, “and with Keiser there are consistent measurements to measure progress.”

In 2008, challenged by friends at Westwood Health and Fitness, Erschen competed in the Wisconsin Iron Man Triathlon. In 2010 he did it again and finished despite struggling with severe pain in his feet from M.S.

In April 2013, Erschen turned space at his company into an employee fitness center (photo). He is President of Wisconsin Metal Parts in Waukesha. Among the equipment Erschen ordered for the new center were Keiser M5 striders, Keiser M3 indoor fitness cycles, and Keiser M3 Total Body Trainers. Every Wednesday morning, Erschen opens the center early, and invites MS patients to exercise. He has been overwhelmed by their success. “Many have doubled and tripled their wattage and one even quadrupled her wattage in less than five months,” he said. “Most of these people have been living with MS for twenty, thirty years and losing more mobility every year. We have not had one person get worse…every single person is making dramatic improvements.”

Now spring and summer will also find Erschen outdoors, cycling and running. He’s competed in a marathon. When he reflects back on his exercise program that evolves around Keiser he expresses gratitude. “It’s given me my life back.”