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Medical Fitness: Trainers Adapt to Clients' Conditions

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Copyright 2014 The Pantagraph
The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois)

BLOOMINGTON - While other fitness centers have noticed an increase in small-group training, Bloomington-Normal YMCA has detected another trend in personal training.

"We're seeing more people with special conditions," said Joe Rodgers, health, wellness and youth sports coordinator.

A person who wants to exercise to combat diabetes, high blood pressure, joint pain or arthritis is nothing new.

"But we're seeing more of that," Rodgers said. In addition, trainers are seeing more members with obesity, heart disease and other conditions, including autism.

"Medical fitness is growing," he said. It requires trainers to not only be knowledgeable about exercise but to learn how exercise may have to be adapted to certain conditions and how exercise may interact with some medicines.

Trainer-physician communication is on the rise.

"The first thing we find out is 'Does your physician know about your exercise goals?'" Rodgers said. "Then we get a full list of their medicines.

"Knowing medicines helps," he said. For example, for people on beta-blockers, their heart rate won't elevate as much as another person's heart rate, and trainers need to take that into account as they monitor heart rate during exercise, he said.

Exercises may have to be adapted depending on physical condition and injury history.

Sometimes, trainers decline to work with someone with a medical condition or disability if they have no experience with that condition or disability, Rodgers said. But that will happen less frequently as trainers become more educated and experienced.

"We view personal training as an educational process" for both the trainer and member, Rodgers said.

Numbers will continue to increase as Baby Boomers with medical conditions return to exercise, he said, and as more people with disabilities get more involved in the community.

 

January 20, 2014

 

 
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