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Published on July 05, 2017

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An exercise physio-what?

The dictionary defines physiology as dealing with the functions and activities of life. It's an apt description of Gundersen exercise physiologists who play an integral role in helping patients maximize "the functions and activities of life" after a serious illness like a heart attack.

Gundersen's certified exercise physiologists are healthcare professionals who are highly educated, experienced and certified to care for patients with heart and lung problems. Our patients benefit from their expertise, with research showing that cardiac/pulmonary rehab:

  • Decreases mortality
  • Decreases hospital readmissions
  • Decreases risk of cardiovascular events
  • Minimizes symptoms like fatigue
  • Increases patients' ability to exercise
  • Improves quality of life

Using a medically supervised, customized exercise program, cardiac rehab at Gundersen helps participants improve strength, exercise tolerance, heart function, overall health and quality of life. Patients also receive education and counseling on topics such as nutrition, risk factor modification (e.g. weight loss and smoking cessation), stress management, medications and following the prescribed medical regimen. Patients are also given tools to continue a healthy lifestyle at home.

While best known for overseeing cardiac rehab, Gundersen exercise physiologists are also qualified to work with patients experiencing other health problems such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, hypertension, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and cancer.

Our exercise physiologists:

  • Develop individualized exercise programs to meet healthcare needs and goals
  • Provide ongoing monitoring and education about risk factor modification and a healthy lifestyle
  • Facilitate Get Movin' to Better Health, a 6-week customized fitness program for anyone seeking support to develop an exercise routine
  • Facilitate Movin' and Improvin', a medically supervised exercise program for people with medical concerns
  • Facilitate MetaBalance – Journey to Better Health, a program of exercise, nutrition and behavior modification to help reduce the risk for people with metabolic syndrome or type II diabetes
  • Offer exercise consults to establish custom exercise plan and goals
  • Oversee outpatient cardiac and pulmonary rehab at Gundersen La Crosse and Sparta Clinics
  • Collaborate with other Gundersen departments to provide exercise consults for patients with PAD, cancer, chronic pain and other health concerns
  • Counsel inpatients on tobacco cessation

If you think you might benefit from the expertise of an exercise physiologist, call (608) 775-2955 to schedule an appointment or for questions.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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