On Medical Fitness Week, Gerber Memorial kicks off Momentum medical fitness program
FREMONT – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and Tamarac are unveiling Momentum, a medical fitness program, during Medical Fitness Week on May 7-May 13. Momentum partners an individual’s health provider with fitness experts to help establish a sustainable pathway toward improving their overall health and wellness. Tamarac is the first wellness center in West Michigan nationally recognized for quality and safety through the Medical Fitness Association (MFA) certification.
“Significant, effective changes in lifestyle that result in improved health are very difficult for patients to implement,” said Michael DeWeerd, Gerber Memorial physician and medical director at Tamarac. “A medical fitness program removes some of the barriers and provides me with a safe and realistic option for many patients.”
DeWeerd said Momentum can benefit patients with a range of illness, including those with chronic diseases, diabetes, obesity, COPD, chronic pain, coronary artery disease, Parkinson’s disease and depression. The program is open to anyone who wants to incorporate the health benefits of exercise into overall wellness.
Tamarac certified fitness specialist Matt Purtee said Momentum can help improve the health of the community.
“Having a medical fitness program will help more people in our community get and stay active, safely and effectively, under the supervision of a qualified fitness specialist,” Purtee said.
With Momentum, a patient is referred to the team at Tamarac, either through a healthcare provider or through a self-referral. Certified fitness specialists like Purtee would set up an initial assessment and collect some preliminary fitness data. The specialist would go over the benefits of both cardiovascular and resistance training and then prescribe a personalized exercise program. The patient would then be scheduled for two supervised workouts a week. After eight weeks, the patient would be retested to collect data on their progress and improvements, and that information would be sent to the patient’s healthcare provider.
DeWeerd defined success for a patient enrolled in Momentum as steady results with improved strength, flexibility, weight loss, improved blood pressure, which then provide encouragement for long term success. Purtee added that success is when a participant in the program makes fitness part of their lifestyle.
“Our community has high rates of diseases associated with physical inactivity,” Purtee said. “The Momentum program will allow our providers to have a direct line to certified and qualified fitness specialists who will be able to safely and effectively guide patients into a personalized exercise program. Exercise has the potential to prolong and enrich people’s lives.”
The eight-week Momentum medical fitness program costs $125 per person and financial assistance is available. For more information about the program, call 231.924.2193.