January 14, 2016
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your well-being. But when you’re living with health challenges, it can be hard to take that first step.
Now, you can find help close to home. A new medical fitness program at Tidelands HealthPoint Center for Health and Fitness is specifically designed for individuals who are physically inactive or living with chronic health conditions and who need to safely incorporate physical activity into their lives.
Called Stronger Through Movement, the program is the only one of its kind in the region, said Nick McClary, a licensed physical therapist and clinical services manager for Tidelands HealthPoint, the region’s only medical fitness center.
“The benefits of exercise are real,” McClary said. “Proper exercise can add years to your life, but often people are afraid to start exercising because they don’t know what exercises to do or how they will affect chronic conditions they may have. As a result, they tend to not move at all, and that’s the worst thing they can do.”
McClary said Stronger Through Movement is particularly appealing for individuals who will benefit from a physical activity program directed by health care professionals. The program was developed with input from family practice physicians and includes regular updates and progress reports between an individual’s exercise physiologist and physician.
Stronger Through Movement is customized to fit each person’s unique needs. Specialized programming is available for individuals living with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other health conditions.
“Trained exercise physiologists and clinical support make the program safe, supportive and effective,” McClary said. “And because Tidelands HealthPoint is part of Tidelands Health, we’re able to offer programs developed by health care professionals to help people of all physical abilities safely and successfully become more active.”
To enroll in Stronger Through Movement, participants must be referred by a physician. Once an individual has completed a free, two-week introductory program, he or she can choose from one of four program tracks:
- Stronger Beginnings is an eight-week program that introduces individuals to exercise through weekly, one-on-one sessions with an exercise physiologist, as well as membership to Tidelands HealthPoint.
- Stronger Forward is a 12-week program for individuals who want to work more independently. It includes four one-on-one sessions with an exercise physiologist and a membership to Tidelands HealthPoint.
- Stronger Training is an eight-week program that includes more intensive, one-on-one training, with two one-on-one sessions with an exercise physiologist each week for eight weeks, as well as membership to Tidelands HealthPoint.
- Stronger at Home is an eight-week, at-home exercise program for individuals who can’t commit to on-site training and prefer to exercise at home.
All participants in Stronger Through Movement receive two free weeks in the program. After the introductory period, prices range from a one-time fee of $39 for Stronger at Home to $139 per month for Stronger Training. Stronger Beginnings, the most popular track, is priced at just $79 per month.
McClary said Stronger Through Movement exercise physiologists are trained to work closely with participants and understand not only the physical but also the psychological challenges they face when embarking on a physical activity program, particularly for the first time.
“Finding a safe and enjoyable way to become more active can be difficult, especially if you’re living with a chronic condition or chronic pain,” McClary said. “And the very idea of walking into a gym can be intimidating. We want people to know they don’t have to be defined by a number on the scale or the diagnosis of a disease. We’re here to help them move beyond that -- and on a path to feeling better.”
Tidelands HealthPoInt, located in Pawleys Island, offer 40,000 square feet of state-of-the art exercise equipment, an indoor lap pool, a warm-water exercise pool and basketball and racquetball courts, in addition to a variety of fitness and wellness classes.