Exercise is Just What the Doctor Ordered
At the Owensboro Health Healthpark, exercise can be a prescription.
Exercise is Medicine is a provider prescribed program that helps tailor an exercise program that patients can follow, and also enjoy.
“When patients come in, we discuss their health history and their goals. The trainers try to make the workout program as specific as possible for each patient,” said Amber Hesson, an exercise referral specialist at the Healthpark. “The patients are getting a very specific program based on their needs.”
The Healthpark has the added benefit of being a medical-based fitness center. That means the staff have higher levels of training and expertise.
Exercise Referral Specialist
“All our program staff have four-year bachelor’s degrees in some area of exercise science, as well as certifications in personal training or other related fields,” Hesson said.
Physical activity is especially important for patients with cancer. That’s because it can have beneficial effects and also mitigate some side effects of cancer and cancer treatments. A number of Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center’s patients are referred to the Exercise is Medicine program and a little over 54% enter it. The program has an 85% completion rate, but the positive effects go far beyond that.
“We have several benefits with the Exercise is Medicine program,” Hesson said. “We see decreased blood pressure and heart rate, and a decrease in body fat. We test strength components too, and we see increased upper body strength, core strength, flexibility, and recovery heart rate.”
"We ask them about their mental health, energy levels, how they're sleeping, how happy they are with their lives. We see improvements in all those areas."
Hesson said there are other benefits, too.
“We also do pre- and post-program questionnaires, looking from a patient’s point of view,” Hesson said.
Exercise is Medicine Statistics: Aug. 10, 2015 - Nov. 7, 2018
# In the program - 1,615
# of referring providers - 286
Compliance rate - 80.62%
Total completed - 1,186
Weight loss - 63.15%
Decreased weight size circumference - 59.02%
Average decrease in waist - 1.98 INCHES
Decreased blood pressure - 61.21%
Increased upper body strength - 39.88%
Increased core strength - 33.14%
Increased flexibility - 45.95%
Decreased heart rate - 50.59%
Improved recovery heart rate - 36.85%
Decreased body fat percentage - 52.28%