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FIT For LIFE & Cardiac Rehabilitation

The pioneer programs for
exercise as medicine

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Misson & Vision

Fit for Life operates as part of the Medical Fitness Center’s medically oriented programming to support those in need of supervised exercise.


Cardiac Rehabilitation and Fit for Life are two medically integrated fitness programs that are staples of the medical fitness concept that the Medical Fitness Center was built upon.


Cardiac Rehabilitation is a customized outpatient program comprised of exercise and education. The program is designed to help improve health and aid recovery from a heart attack, or other forms of heart disease or surgery to treat heart disease. This program impacts so many lives in the area, providing supervised and proper guidance for those who truly need it most when it comes to learning how to start exercising again safely after an event associated with the heart.


Cardiac Rehabilitation often involves exercise training, emotional support, and education about lifestyle changes to reduce heart disease risk. The goal of the program is to include establishing a plan to help regain strength, prevent the condition from worsening, and reduce the risk of future heart problems, all while improving overall health and quality of life.


Research has found that a cardiac rehabilitation program can reduce the risk of death from heart disease and reduce the risk of future heart problems. The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology recommend cardiac rehabilitation programs and that is where the Adirondack Health Medical Fitness Cardiac Rehabilitation program comes in. Individuals who attend 36 sessions have a 47% lower risk of death and 31% lower risk of heart attack. Participation also reduces hospital readmissions.


This program was born in 2016 and has helped over 600 various patients in its time who are recovering from a wide range of heart issues.

A patient’s medical history may include heart attack, coronary artery disease, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, chest pain, cardiomyopathy, certain congenital heart diseases, coronary artery bypass surgery, angioplasty and stents, heart or lung transplant, heart valve repair or replacement, and/or pulmonary hypertension.


During Cardiac Rehabilitation, the first stages of the program generally last about three months, but some people will follow the program longer. The program will include a medical evaluation, physical activity, lifestyle education, and support. Over the long term, patients will be able to improve strength, adopt heart-healthy behaviors, cut bad health habits, manage weight, find ways to manage stress, learn to cope with heart disease, and decrease their risk of future events. Once patients progress through the full Cardiac Rehabilitation program, many continue on to Fit for Life, another supervised exercise program that allows people who have had a cardiac event to continue on with guidance until they are fully cleared and ready to exercise on their own.


Fit for Life was developed originally as an advanced stage of Cardiac Rehabilitation, but it has now evolved further into many other areas of health-related issues that can improve from proper exercise guidance. Fit for Life has been around for many years. This program pioneered the establishment of the "exercise is medicine" philosophy here in the Adirondacks. This program is a physician-advised supervised exercise program, designed and run by professional exercise physiologists. This team works with individuals for as long as they need, guiding them toward better health for their unique conditions, which can range from heart health to diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, weight loss, and more. This program is a vital part of the communities’ wellness and has had a huge impact on many lives.

“I have been participating in the Bone Builders program for approximately 17 months. During this time, I have seen increases in my overall strength and my balance has improved as well. I especially like that this program is really helping to educate me regarding the various ways to use strength and resistance training safely to prevent self-injury while I work toward my personal goal of reversing osteoporosis without the use of pharmaceuticals. The bone Builders program has truly been a positive force and a great motivator for me!

~Patricia Vanderwalker|Bone Builders Participant

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Learn More About Fit for Life


Adirondack Health Medical Fitness Exercise Physiologists and Fitness Coaches work closely with your physician through regular communication to ensure you receive consistent quality care.

Conditions Managed

  • High Blood Pressure

  • High Cholesterol

  • Diabetes

  • Osteoporosis

  • Obesity

  • Inactivity

  • Heart Disease & Minor Intervention Recovery

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

  • Cancer Related Fatigue Syndrome


Everyone will go through an exercise assessment and individual programming will be designed by our exercise specialists for your unique needs. Forms of exercise may include aerobic exercises, such as riding a stationary bike, walking on a treadmill, or using an arm bike. Stretching exercises and strength training will be used to increase mobility and improve daily living activities.


Understanding your condition provides the pathway to make small changes. consistently over time. Whether it's improving strength, nutrition, or mobility, our staff personalizes learning based on your specific needs. Our goal is for you to become independent to exercise on your own. After graduating from Fit for Life you may continue on in our post-Fit for Life program, or become a Medical Fitness Center Member


The program is billed on a monthly basis. If an insurance company provides a wellness stipend, there may be reimbursement for the fees. For those who qualify, a scholarship program and financial counselor are available to assist if needed.


Cardiac Rehabilitation

To learn more, talk to your physician or reach out to our Cardica Rehabilitation Coordinator Heidi Read

Contact Heidi


We Take Care of Your Recovery

  • Exercise Monitored 

  • Increase Cardiac Capacity

  • Learn to Self-Monitor 

  • Learn Stress Management 

  • Relieve Frear & Anxiety


Meet the Team

Dedication | Passion | Compassion | Excellence

Andrea Chamberlain

Fit for Life & Cardiac Rehabilitation Manager


Heidi Read

Cardiac Rehabilitation Coordinator


Mike Leggett

Fit for Life & Bariatrics Exercise Specialist

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Kendra Palmieri

Fit for Life & Medical Fitness Exercise Specialist

Contact Us

To learn more about these programs contact us here.

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