Lois Exelbert calls it “an exercise prescription.”
Susan Nylander calls it a lifesaver.
Both women — Exelbert, the administrative director of Baptist Hospital’s Diabetes Center, and Nylander, a patient who is on the path to better health — are referring to the diabetes exercise program at Baptist Health at the Kendall hospital.
The clinical program, geared toward patients with diabetes or those who are pre-diabetic, is like a health club for people who really are interested in improving their health. That is because they are at this gym by prescription.
“When you’re 61 and go to Bally’s you don’t look so cool. But when you come here and when you go to walk through stores, or go on vacation, you look better and you feel better and you move your body better and it’s working,” Nylander says.
Doctors who have diagnosed patients with diabetes, such as Nylander, or who recognize a trend toward a patient becoming diabetic, can prescribe the program. Patients will then have access to a personal trainer who will work with them in a supervised setting and embark on an exercise program.
The classes, held daily in a gym-like setting (albeit with heart monitors and other medical devices particular to hospitals tucked near the fitness equipment) include cardiovascular bikes and treadmills along with resistance training machines, free weights, medicine balls and resistance bands.
“Exercise has been proven to be a wonderful tool for the prevention of diabetes as well as diabetes management,” says Maggie Gonzalez, Baptist’s diabetes exercise specialist. “Exercise increases the action of insulin, the hormone made in the pancreas that facilitates the breakdown of sugar molecules. Because of exercise, that process is enhanced…
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