Getting an Exercise Consultation to Improve Your Results
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Exercise consultations can be a great additive to your comprehensive physical exam. These individualized consultations are essential for injury prevention and fitness improvement.
Whether you've established a fitness routine or you're new to the fitness realm, injury prevention should always be top of mind. If you embark on a training program but have some underlying imbalances, it's dangerous to not address those first.
Michael Clark, MD, a Cooper Clinic Preventive Physician answers some common questions about exercise consultations and what they entail.
What is an exercise consultation and why is it important?
An exercise consultation with a Cooper Clinic exercise physiologist helps develop a flexibility, strength and cardiovascular program for the patient. Patients receive a customized assessment and a personalized program focused on individual goals and overall fitness enhancement. The session is designed to find areas of specific weakness, tightness or imbalance that can impede one's performance.
One of my patients is in the superior fitness category but always complained of pain in the upper hip area. After his exercise consultation, it was noted that he had imbalances in his hip and needed corrective strength exercises to fix the problem. He now has zero hip pain and his fitness routine is more balanced.
Who should receive an exercise consultation?
Anyone can get an exercise consultation. In fact, it's recommended for all fitness levels. It's important for people who have never exercised to start off the program correctly so they don't injure themselves. It's also important for those who do exercise regularly to correct any areas of imbalance so they can proceed with their exercise more effectively.
For example, one of my patients has been visiting Cooper Clinic for years. We noticed the way he ran was making him less flexible and instructed him to focus on walking with an incline the next time he used a treadmill. To also help with the tightness, we gave him some corrective strength exercises to try. Now he is in the superior category on his treadmill stress test!
What can I expect during an exercise consultation?
The patient will meet with the exercise physiologist and conduct some maneuvers to help test specific areas that need to be addressed, such as maximum range of motion, flexibility and strength. Specific exercises will then be given to the patient to help correct any of their weak areas.
What can I expect after the exercise consultation?
After the session, the patient is given a handout with their individual exercises. Ideally, we'd like for the patient to follow up with a professional fitness trainer to improve their fitness routine. If that is not plausible, the patient is welcome to set up a follow-up appointment at a later date to be retested and further advanced in their exercise program.
What is the difference between an exercise consultation and a personal training session at a gym?
Our consultations are designed to point out any weakness, tightness or imbalance to improve your fitness routine rather than to specifically focus on building muscle, losing weight or specific athletic activities. While our physiologists are qualified to work on building muscle, losing weight or athletic activities, it would be best to use one?s personal trainer on an ongoing basis to address these specific needs. Many of the exercises we give to patients require bodyweight and gravity with little or no equipment necessary. Our goal is for our patients to walk away with exercise moves that they are able to do anywhere.
If you're interested in scheduling an exercise consultation during your next Cooper Clinic comprehensive physical exam please call 972.560.2667.