For the Health of It – Medical Fitness Presentation

Published: February 1st, 2012

Category: Medical Fitness

On January 19, Mike Wasik, clinical coordinator for UF Health Fitness & Wellness Center, spoke to the UF Health Women’s Advantage group during a lunchtime seminar. Here are notes from his presentation about medical fitness.

What is medical fitness? Medical fitness is part of the global health continuum of care. We want to look at your health all the way through your life. We look at medical fitness from a variety of ways. Medical fitness involves safe medially based exercise designed to improve strength and fitness. Medical fitness is supervised by experienced certified athletic trainers and exercise physiologists and it often bridges the return to general wellness after completing a structured physcial rehab program.

Our Medical Fitness Program:

  • Strong hospital affiliation: Oftentimes, you might think of UF Health as a place to go to get well, but we want you to come here to stay well.  
  • A therapeutic and integrated approach: We will provide you with a guided workout program to help you get better. We are like pharmacists for fitness. We prescribe the proper dose of exercise appropriate for each member. Each workout is specifically designed for you, and our exercise specialists asisst you through each workout. Our services are delivered through a medically scientific and evidence proven platform to ensure results and safety.
  • Personalized for you: We have a chart for each member. We will know what kinds of exercises you have done during each visit, and we will know about any precautions regarding your health. We will follow all doctor’s orders during each workout. Our exercise specialists have degrees in this field, and are academically trained to monitor your condition minute by minute.
  • Lifestyle: We want to work with you to help you reach your lifestyle goals. You may be well in the eyes of your doctor, but are you truely living life to its fullest? If you want to run a marathon, we will help you get there. If you want to participate in a 5K walk, we will help you get there. We will help you set and meet realistic expectations for your way of living.  
  • Multifocal emphasis: We want to look at the full person…the whole body. We know we need to treat the whole person. If other medical conditions arise, we will be able to refer you to the proper specialists. We can provide a streamlined approach to your health care through our medical fitness program.
  • Reinforce healthy behavior: Everyone at the UF Health Fitness and Wellness Center has a degree in exercise science. Actually, most have master’s degrees in the field as well. We all hold several certifications and designations. Our people are healthy, and they are trained in healthy living.  

In order to participate in our medical fitness program, people need to be referred by a health care provider (MD, ARNP, PT, etc.) We can help in obtaining that referral for you.  

Workouts include cardiovascular workouts, flexibility workouts, upper body strength, lower body strength, core training and balance. Depending on what is appropriate for you, we will use various methods. We might use under-water treadmill. We might use exercise balls or exercise rubber bands. The method depends on your physical limitations and medical conditions.

Some of the areas we focus on might include core strength, balance and flexibility. As we get older, our bodies lose balance and flexibility. By exercising and stretching, we are able to gain some of that back. And, core strenth is what keeps it all together. The middle of our body has to be strong in order to keep our limbs nimble and strong.   

At the UF Health Fitness and Wellness Center, we use Star Trac equipment. We have several TV channels available for viewing on our equipment so that your workouts will pass with ease. Star Trac’s Strength Inspiration line lets you focus on individual limbs rather than both limbs together like traditional machines. And the Human Sport line is cable based and helps with core strengthening.

Exercise Guidelines:

Under 65 – 30 mins a day five days a week OR intense cardio 20 minutes a day three days a week and eight to 10 strength-training exercises twice a week. This is good for people with osteoperosis or osteopena.

Over 65 – proceed with doctor-recommended level of exercise.

Ultimately, we want you to get inspired, and get moving! If you get active, you will feel better. 

If you have questions about the medical fitness program at UF Health Fitness and Wellness Center or at the University of Florida Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Institute, please call 352.733.0834.



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