Exercise is Medicine helps improve lives | Features

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Patient diagnoses that qualify an individual for participation in the program include mental health issues, depression, diabetes, obesity and weight management issues, he said.

Exercise is Medicine is an eight-week program which requires a referral by a physician.

Once a patient is referred, Cornelius said the Healthpark will reach out to set up a consultation, perform a physical fitness assessment and discuss with the patient how the program might help them achieve their personal and diagnosis-related goals.

“Hopefully then, we could tailor all of this information to a program that is really specific to that patient,” Cornelius said. “We will basically assess their progress from the start of the program to the end of the program.”

After a routine is laid out, coaches will then work one-on-one with each patient to walk them through the routine and how to operate the equipment.

“That’s where we’ll really dive in deep and try to aid the patient as best as we can,” Cornelius said. “There’s a lot of people who are brand new to exercise that have never really done any excessive activity before or it’s been a long time, so it’s important for us to really make them feel confident and comfortable with their routine before we let them exercise on their own.

“It’s going to be something that’s tailored to their diagnosis and their personal goals. So every single patient’s program is not going to be the same — it’s all tailored to that person, specifically.”

As far as what exercise routines patients can expect, Cornelius said it varies from patient to patient, but there are a multitude of exercise options available at the Healthpark, including group classes, aquatics, aerobics and strength training.

The program is supervised at all times, with a trained individual on the floor during all operating hours to offer assistance when needed.

The majority of the patients referred to the Exercise is Medicine program, Cornelius said, are those diagnosed with type-2 diabetes or have weight management or orthopedic issues.

The program, he said, can help alleviate some of the ailments and symptoms associated with these issues.

“To see how an exercise program can help make somebody stronger, how it can improve their mobility, how it can decrease their symptoms from a diagnosis they have; exercise is really amazing to all of the people it can benefit,” he said. “That would probably be the biggest focus of the program, to see how we can help them enhance their overall life.”

For many individuals with orthopedic and weight management problems, exercise can help them begin to move without pain to keep up with their young children or grandchildren, he said. It also decreases their symptoms.

“The program is designed to try to substitute additional prescription and medications that can be managed through exercise, so if it’s an option for you, talk to your physician and see how the exercise medicine program can benefit you,” Cornelius said, “and if that’s possible, definitely seek out a referral for our program and see if we can help.”

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