Medical Fitness Programs: Keeping Your Patients Healthy and Strong
To expand outpatient clinical services, several hospitals have integrated wellness centers on-site. With perks such as massage therapy, personal training, nutrition education, group fitness classes and more, hospitalists can encourage patients to take advantage of hospital medical fitness programs, which help participants incorporate daily activities that may help improve their overall health and well-being.
Those who take part in health and fitness programs in a hospital setting are more likely to have improved outcomes, especially for those with chronic illnesses and other risk factors. Especially for the aging population, medical fitness programs have a history of providing a continuum of care by encouraging an initiative-taking strategy for building strength and preventing disease and deterioration.
Many hospitals offer these types of amenities, however, due to the busyness of a typical clinical care team, promoting medical fitness programs can often fall to the end of the priority list. What’s interesting though, is that because of its proven success rate, it should be one of the very first things discussed with patients and families, if applicable. As a part of most medical fitness programs, patients are initially assessed to identify specific areas needing improvement. From there, a team of personal trainers, dieticians, mentors, and health coaches come together to create a personalized plan for each patient, depending on their specific needs and desires.
An additional benefit to working with patients in a medical fitness program setting is watching them progress and become stronger. Exercise and proper nutrition can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation; improve heart health; reduce the risk of a stroke; help manage a healthy weight; and restore quality of life. And because patients are under the care of certified professionals, they don’t have to feel uncomfortable about not being able to keep up as if they were in a conventional gym. Because patients need to have a physician referral to begin their journey in a medical fitness program, hospitalists should make it a priority to assess those they are caring for to give them the best possible outcome for success.
The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Unfortunately, the likelihood of performing that much exercise for a patient who has had a long and difficult hospital stay is slim. It is the goal of the medical fitness team to collaborate with those patients and encourage the promotion of healthy habits. Even if the patient can only perform 5-10 minutes of cardiovascular activity at a time, it’s important to join together with them to improve their stamina over time.
Even if a patient isn’t interested in participating in a medical fitness program, as a hospitalist, you should explain the benefits and motivate them to take a step in the right direction towards the betterment of their physical and mental condition.
Many of the facilities our hospitalists are a part of have outstanding medical fitness programs. If you would like more information about our protocol, please contact us today.
Learn More About Advanced Care Hospitalists (ACH)
ACH is a Lakeland-based hospitalist group providing comprehensive patient care in community hospitals across Central Florida. Our providers are highly skilled, board-certified internal medicine specialists who are available around-the-clock to meet the care needs of patients from hospital admission through discharge. Post-discharge from the hospital, we continue overseeing patient care for 30 days.
We’ve found that continued care coordination ensures more accurate medication reconciliation, improved compliance with discharge plans, better scheduling of follow-up visits, and fewer hospital readmissions. Our providers do everything in their power to make sure our patients receive the compassionate and comprehensive care they need to promote healing and prevent a second hospital admission.
For more information about our services and our practice, please contact Advanced Care Hospitalists at 863-816-5884 or fill out a contact form online.