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The Value of a Medically Supervised Fitness Program

Studies show that regular exercise after heart surgery increases quality of life and life expectancy. But after cardiac rehabilitation, some people find that determining how to begin or continue an ongoing fitness program, what to do and, most importantly, where to go for guidance can be daunting.
The Pendleton Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center offers what is known as a medically-supervised fitness program. Those who benefit from the program not only include people who are transitioning from cardiac rehabilitation after recent cardiac surgery, but also those whose cardiac surgery was years ago.
“I had a quadruple bypass about seven years ago and it’s very important to stay in top physical condition after you’ve had a surgery like that,” said Pendleton Center member Ron Phillips. “I’ve been coming here ever since my surgery, three times a week. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you’ll find me here, and I work out for about an hour and a half to two hours. And I’m doing really well.”
The incorporation of medical supervision and support in a gym setting makes perfect sense for people with other health concerns as well. Andrea Klein, director of the Pendleton Center, describes the added benefits. “Many local communities have free gyms, but at the Pendleton Center, we offer quite a bit more,” explained Klein. “We communicate with our members’ health providers. In addition to supervision by staff, our members have access to guidance from diabetes educators, nutritionists, respiratory therapists and exercise physiologists. We provide medical monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels and blood sugars. Our staff is trained to anticipate and recognize adverse signs and symptoms so that we can intervene appropriately right away.”
These added features translate to peace of mind for the folks who work out at the Pendleton Center. “I find the staff here very willing to help you and communicate with you,” said Pendleton Center member Donna Walters. “They’re aware of what your condition is, so they make suggestions that will help you improve. When you come in, you have the option of having your blood pressure and pulse taken. It’s a very comforting atmosphere.”
In addition to the medical support, members find emotional and social support as well. “You get to know people,” said Phillips. “I’ve got one friend who gets on the treadmill next to me whenever I’m on it, and we talk to each other for 30 minutes. And if one of us has been on there for 10 minutes already, then we’re going to do 40 minutes because you’re going to stay for the full 30 minutes for the other person, just to keep them company!”
It’s the exercise and medical supervision that keep you healthy, and it’s the friendships that keep you coming back. Dr. John Oakley is living proof. “The Pendleton Center is, for me, a very positive experience,” he said. “And has been for 25 years.”
Additional services at the Pendleton Center include cardiac rehabilitation, diabetes education, personal training, REACH (Resistive Exercise and Aerobic Activity from a Chair) and various support groups, including the popular Reversing Heart Disease support group.
The outreach and education that the Pendleton Center provides our community is one example of the many ways in which YRMC keeps its Mission as a not-for-profit health care provider. QCBN

For more information on medically supervised fitness and other programs at the Pendleton Center, please call:
• Pendleton Center West, Prescott: 928-771-5794
• Pendleton Center East, Prescott Valley: 928-759-5920

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