Club Insider

Exercise IS Medicine!

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Mike AlpertMike Alpert

For the past few years, I have been writing this monthly column for Club Insider, doing my best to promote and move forward a global initiative called Exercise IS Medicine. The intent has been three-fold:

  1. 1. To help bridge the gap that exists between health care and fitness by bringing the experts in each to begin working together instead of independently;
  2. 2. To assist in bringing programs to other clubs throughout the country and world that are helping people with chronic injuries and chronic illnesses, providing Hope, Acceptance, Possibilities and a Continuum of Care that simply does not exist in our current health care system.
  3. 3. To encourage all clubs to be accessible and welcoming to people from all populations, especially those with disabilities.

The challenge for most seems to be how to bring people into their clubs, who in most cases, are lacking the financial means to join and sustain the costs of monthly dues, as well as how to integrate them safely into the clubs. I always encourage club owners and operators to begin with a small group of people. Pick a cause that you and your staff and members are passionate about. This could be adult or pediatric cancer, paralysis, ALS, diabetes or any host of other chronic illnesses or injuries. Make the decision to donate a defined amount of capital from net income to cover the costs to run the program for one year. In most cases this will include instructor fees to hold classes and your registered dietician or nutrition counselor (And, of course, club membership for their family).

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