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Medical Exercise Specialists…..yes, exercise is definitely medicine! We are seeing an explosion of medical fitness certifications and workshops using exercise as medicine. But are we throwing exercise at medical conditions the same way some physicians throw pills at disease? Exercise must be dosed to be effective. It must be repeatable and able to be analyzed so we can establish guidelines, protocols, and best practices for exercise management of medical conditions. This gives credibility, not certifications.
Are you asking “what exercise(s) should I do for this client’s condition”, but are unaware of the necessary frequency, duration, rest, sets, reps, intensity? Do you use the findings from your assessment to develop the exercise program? Are you doing re-assessments? What if the client has an altered mental status? What are the healing limitations based on the condition/injury or surgery? What is the tissue tolerance level for exercise of the client? Which functional outcome measures are you using to determine the client’s progress? Does the client have inflammation? What meds are impacting the client’s condition? How is the exercise program influencing the client’s pain? How are motor function and neuro capacity enhanced or diminished by the exercise program? And finally, based on each of these components…..what is the exercise progression?
 
If we are not able to answer each question as it applies to your client…. are you a medical exercise professional or a medical fitness technician? Is exercise just the new thing? Let’s not do what we sometimes criticize the physicians for doing…..throwing pills at the condition. Nonspecific, inappropriate exercise, with no thought of dosage, is potentially the same thing…..throwing exercise at the condition. Manage exercise, properly dose it and assess the results….EXERCISE IS KEY TO LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT OF MOST MEDICAL CONDITIONS.
 
Best wishes building your medical exercise training practice!

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