How is a Medical Fitness Center Different? And Meant for Everyone?

by Traci Marie Wagner, General Manager


There is no intervention with more potential to prolong and enrich life than exercise. (1)


You are a part of something special, but do you know exactly why a Medical Fitness Center is so different from your ordinary gym? The Medical Fitness Center concept is relatively new and progressive. It is tied into the healthcare industry and leads the way for preventative health which positively impacts the overall healthcare system.


There is no intervention with more potential to prolong and enrich life than exercise. (1) Medically integrated health and fitness centers are defining the future of healthcare. Growth throughout the medical fitness industry becomes more apparent every year. Based on industry surveys and other sources, the number of centers has grown from 79 centers in 1985 to 950 in 2008. (2) From aging to chronic disease, increased health-risk factors to improving outcomes for clients/ patients’ procedures and recovery; Medical Fitness Centers help members become educated and physically empowered in the “why” and “how” to promote wellness as a lifestyle.


So, what makes a medical fitness center so different? Each center has a highly trained, properly credentialed, and degreed staff of health/fitness professionals whose primary focus is to provide high-quality assessment and exercise programming based on the individual needs, goals, conditions, and health-risk levels of each member. Medical Fitness Centers, like Adirondack Health Medical Fitness Center (AHMFC) position themselves as being a part of the continuum of care working closely with a hospital. (1)


“The pioneers in the Medical Fitness Industry believe the future of hospitals and other wellness/fitness organizations is in improving the health status of the communities they serve.” (2) Medical physicians play a very important role in the healthcare system by treating disease. However, physicians don’t have the time nor background in exercise as medicine for prevention to provide fitness programs tailored to members individual needs. That is where a Medical Fitness Center’s expertise comes in. Physicians work in tandem with exercise professionals to refer patients to begin exercising with a trained professional by providing recommended restrictions and goals. Adirondack Health Medical Fitness Center was created for just that reason.




The pioneers in the Medical Fitness Industry believe the future of hospitals and other wellness and fitness organizations is in improving the health status of the communities they serve. (2)





It is no surprise that America is facing an explosion of health-related issues. Due to the Medical Fitness model healthcare is beginning to trend away from “sick care”. Medical Fitness Centers play an important role for their associated hospitals on population health management by preventing illness and the accompanying costs. (2) Medical Fitness Centers are leading the way in the healthcare epidemic. Unlike your ordinary health/fitness facility that targets and attracts 15 percent of the American population that exercises regularly, Medical Fitness Centers uphold the mission to provide genuine opportunities to be physically active to include the other 85 percent; more specifically the large population of people who have a desire to exercise, but just don’t know how to get started. (2)


Medical Fitness centers and their professional staff strive to provide relevant and expert information not only to their members but also to the community as a whole on how to be physically active as well as providing the means (facility, equipment, and structured activity opportunities) to dramatically change their “want-to feelings” into “I did it” behavior patterns. (2) This transformation is the exact mission of American College Sports Medicines' “Exercise is Medicine” philosophy. That is why Medical Fitness centers stand out as such a unique operation compared to ordinary health clubs. They provide a viable avenue to success for everyone.