Are you familiar with medical fitness facilities? Do you know the difference between a medical fitness facility and other fitness centers? Deb Riggs, general manager of the TriHealth Fitness and Health Pavilion, says the goal of a medical fitness facility is prevention and maintaining good health, as well as achieving one’s fitness goals.
What is a Medical Fitness Facility?
To be named a medical fitness facility, there is a stringent set of guidelines that must be met, including:
- Medical oversight (programming evaluated for clinical soundness)
- Qualifications and staff credentials (degrees, certifications and licenses, plus CPR and automated external defibrillator [AED] training)
- Individualized exercise programming (pre-activity screening, exercise plan, tracking and physician follow up, when necessary)
- Disease management and tracking of clinical outcomes
- Emergency preparedness (emergency plan, AED, first aid kids, material safety data sheets [MSDS], signage, etc.)
While these facilities are especially beneficial for those with multiple health risk factors, it’s important to remember that medical fitness facilities are for everyone. They are a place of recreation where everyone is there to work on their individual fitness goals, no matter their age, athletic abilities or physical limitations.
What These Guidelines Mean to You:
By joining a medically integrated health and fitness center, you’re not only part of a club that caters to all age groups, but you’re also in a facility recognized as part of a healthcare organization's continuum of care. “These are places where people with multiple risk factors, including diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis, as well as the apparent healthy individual, can feel comfortable,” Deb explains. “It's where certified professionals understand disease management and can put members on safe programs, and follow them throughout their membership.”
Staff members are there for your benefit, and are professionally trained and credentialed through nationally recognized programs. “It’s our job to educate physicians on the fact that it’s their duty to make sure their patients are staying as healthy as possible, and then, to refer their patients, who don’t know how to exercise properly, to a fitness center that is supervised by medical oversight — where there are professionals that are licensed and degreed and understand the patient’s needs.” Deb says.
Another benefit comes with the individualized workout routine and personal assessment you receive from the staff during your onboarding process. Rather than jumping right in on your own, your baselines will be taken and you will be coached on how to properly use machines and build a plan designed to meet your unique fitness needs, minimizing your risk of injury.
For new members, the onboarding process may include:
- Health history check
- Wellness goal assessment
- One-on-one meeting with a fitness specialist/coach
- Personalized program developed to meet your goals and needs at your current life stage
- Staff follows-ups to make sure you’re progressing
With medically-based fitness facilities serving as part of a larger health system, they are uniquely positioned to provide exercise programs to help manage acute or chronic diseases. Their dedicated and credentialed staff can help you meet your fitness needs, regardless of where you are on your health journey.