Research, exercise work hand in hand

USFís new Physical Therapy Center is extending its research to help improve the health of those in the Tampa community.
A new program called ìexercise prescriptionsî was implemented at the center and is expected to benefit students and patients.
Pat Arthur, director for the center, said the new program is offered to the general public so student physicians can practice detecting malfunctions in the human body.
Arthur said the program costs patients about $75 to receive a full-fitness analysis and personal workout program that can be done at home. The cost pays for two visits to the center with a full physical evaluation on the first visit, including an interview in which goals are established and concerns are addressed. This is followed by a performance test in the centerís gym where the patientís heart rate and range of motion are analyzed.
Arthur said during the second visit, a fitness program catered to the patientsí needs is prepared and carefully reviewed with the patient to establish proper form and frequency of the muscles and joints.
ìI try to design the program so that the patient doesnít have to leave the privacy of their home to exercise,î Arthur said.
ìAfter the age of 40, the risk of injury and disease double,î Arthur said. ìThis program is designed to help people stay more physically fit so they can reduce their chances of having problems later.î
Exercise prescriptions, Arthur said, is a fitness program for people, mostly senior citizens, who are interested in preserving their personal wellness before health complications develop. One of the main goals of the program, Arthur said, is to get people started on a safe and effective program they can continue for more than a few weeks.
ìThis program is to help people that have a hard time getting started,î Arthur said.
The center, which opened April 15, has a state-of-the-art gym that features air pressurized exercise equipment, which Arthur said is the first of its kind to be tested at USFís center.
The center also provides as a research facility to students in the College of Medicine.
As the cost of insurance and medical services continues to increase, Arthur said investing in the prevention of personal health and wellness could be the best choice for people to make.
ìItís amazing how we can keep people alive forever on machines these days, but what about the quality of life?,î Arthur asked.
Arthur said senior citizens who donít take positive action toward preserving their fitness may have to spend retirement funds on medical bills.
ìItís much easier to prevent problems now, than it is to fix them later,î Arthur said. ìItís an investment in your future.î