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The Heart of the Matter: Medical Integration Programming

March 13, 2024

Medically integrated fitness consists of two different types of programs: Prescriptive Fitness and Special Populations Programming. Both serve individuals living with chronic conditions (diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, etc.) or experiencing life events (joint replacement surgery, pre and postnatal care, etc.). Both types of programming can improve the quality of life for participants:

  • Prescriptive Fitness Programs are physician-guided, timebound, and taught by credentialed, certified fitness instructors. Programs also called pathways can include “Cancer Fitness,” “Fit for Surgery,” or “Cardiac Fitness”. Patients are referred by their physician/provider, and progress is tracked using initial, mid-point, and final fitness assessments. Patient data can be securely shared with referring providers via HIPAA compliant systems.
  • Special Population Programs are also timebound and taught by credentialed, certified fitness professionals. These programs differ from Prescriptive Fitness programs because individuals can have, but do not need a physician referral to participate. Special Population Programs offer guided exercise, nutrition, and wellbeing direction for persons living with one or more chronic conditions i.e., diabetes, arthritis, or obesity. Participants have access to digital tools for tracking progress.

Designing and implementing safe and comprehensive medical fitness programming is what makes a medical fitness center stand out in the crowded fitness and wellness marketplace. Tracking programming outcomes is also vital for success. The next stop on our medical fitness journey will highlight the vital role data collection and safe systems play in creating and implementing evidence-based wellness and fitness programming.