Have you been told that you need to exercise to improve your health? This is often the case when patients are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome or obesity. But in many cases, the patient has a bad experience with physical fitness, doesn’t know where to begin, or isn’t comfortable doing the exercises that they are familiar with. At North Memorial, there is a program for that.
Diabetes Activity Program
Despite its name, the Diabetes Activity Program works for anyone who needs help starting an exercise program to improve his or her health. As part of the program, patients work with a physical therapist at the Institute for Athletic Medicine to come up with a personalized plan.
Clinic Director Darin Thom, DPT, explains how it works. “It’s all about setting reasonable goals and starting slow,” he says. He describes the first meeting as a time when the therapist and the client get to know each other. At this session, patients can explain why exercise has been difficult in the past and what they might be able to gain if they were able to participate in a regular program of physical activity. Based on that information and other helpful data, a personalized plan is created.
Improved Health and Wellness
For some patients, losing weight is a benefit of the program. But Thom says that the goal is not necessarily weight loss, but rather improvements in the way each patient is able to move through typical daily activities. He also sees improvements in patients’ moods and attitudes. “People love to tell their stories,” he says, “they experience small victories as their activity and comfort level improves.”
If you’d like to learn more about the Diabetes Activity Program, check out the Healthy Exercise section of the North Memorial Medical Center Healthy Weight Loss website. You’ll also find information about getting a referral to the program on our Healthy Connections page.