Because I work in the field of health, fitness and sports medicine, people sometimes ask me what’s different about a medical fitness center when compared with a traditional gym or fitness club.
The key word, of course, is medical. At the gym, the emphasis is often physical performance and appearance. And while losing weight and looking good can certainly boost your self-confidence, it’s important to know what’s going on inside your body. That’s what makes you a healthier person. At a medically based fitness center like Mercy’s, the focus is on helping you get fit, inside and out.
If you aren’t sure where to start in choosing a fitness center, health club or gym, here are six ways a medical exercise and fitness facility is different.
1. Health care vs. health club
A medical or hospital-based fitness gym will address the health-care side of the equation. This is especially important if you have any chronic health conditions or have never exercised regularly before.
2. Exercise specialists who are also medical professionals
At a certified medical fitness facility, you will find credentialed trainers and exercise specialists, therapists, nurses and dietitians on staff. Not only are they knowledgeable about how to create a good workout plan, but they can also assess your personal health and existing risk factors to develop a custom program just for you. Plus, they are adept at helping you learn the ropes and always have safety in mind. All this is especially important if you have heart disease, hypertension, obesity, hyperlipidemia and/or just general debilitation.
3. Connection with your primary care doctor
The staff at a medical fitness center knows how to work closely with your doctors and specialists to complement their treatment plan. This approach keeps everyone on the same page and working toward the same health goals.
4. Lifestyle enhancement and active coaching
Because the specialists at a medical fitness gym understand your total health, they can provide holistic guidance that encompasses not only a particular workout, but also your lifestyle. They can recognize internal and external obstacles for you in reaching your health goals and can offer active coaching to help you overcome those obstacles.
5. Emphasis on preventive medicine
At Mercy’s medical fitness center, we believe exercise is medicine. It can help control and reverse the effects of many chronic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and others. It can also go a long way toward preventing the development of these diseases.
6. Ideal for the “non-traditional exerciser”
Working out at a gym or health club may be uncomfortable if you’re exercising for the first time or returning to exercise after a long hiatus. At a medically-based fitness facility, you can expect people to be at a wide range of fitness levels. That makes the environment comfortable and stress free for everyone.
In the Canton and North Canton, Ohio area, Mercy Health & Fitness is the only Stark County facility that is certified through the Medical Fitness Association (MFA) and one of 30 facilities nationwide with this designation. To ensure quality, make sure the medical fitness center you choose is MFA certified.