Telling my clients that I’m closing Thrive Personal Fitness and embarking on my medical fitness journey wasn’t easy. My goal was to get out the facts, which at the time were few, and make the transition a positive one for everyone.

Despite my best intentions to reassure everyone that this transition is a very good thing, the most important thing got lost in the delivery.  After sharing my news and letting them process, some of my clients panicked. They thought they were losing me! They wanted to know if I was still going to be providing personal training services.  

Of course, I’m still offering personal training services! Developing plans based on physical activity for brain health is a natural extension of what I already do.  And I am thrilled to have them (and you) along for the ride if it makes sense. Almost anyone can benefit from a program based on physical activity for brain health. We all need to take care of our brains, especially those of us in midlife. The brain is an organ after all. It needs good blood flow and nourishment to flourish. Functional fitness and focused cardio are the foundation for a neurofitness program.

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What is medical fitness?

I’ve always said exercise is medicine. We know that it is one of the most effective non-drug treatments for everything from high blood pressure to depression. We know it helps lower blood sugar and increases HDL “good” cholesterol. So what makes medical fitness different from any other workout?

Medical fitness is essentially the synergy of exercise and healthcare together. In the case of our new fitness center, Sharlin Health NeuroFitness, it’s my expertise as a fitness professional combined with the experience, knowledge and supervision of a neurologist trained in functional medicine. On the surface, the workouts might look the same, especially if you’re interested in prevention. But it’s the intention and science behind the program design that makes movement in a medical fitness center special.


What is functional medicine?

Another term we need to define is functional medicine.  According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, functional medicine is “a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness.”

Lifestyle factors are both a root cause and a critical part of the solution for healing and long-term health. If you’ve been looking for an integrative approach to your wellness journey or interested in trying a functional medicine approach to health, medical fitness might be the perfect place to start. You don’t need a diagnosis of any kind to experience cognitive issues or excessive inflammation. Physical activity for brain health is the key to a vibrant midlife and active aging.

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Also, with a medical fitness perspective, your program is about so much more the number on the scale. Using Dr. Sharlin’s Five Pillars approach, here’s the framework I’ll be using to help you define your nuerofitness plan.

  • Identify: This has always been at the heart of my practice. It’s critical to take the time to understand a client and their unique needs. Every BODY is different so the plan starts with understanding where you are, what you need and what success looks like to you.
  • Investigate: We’re all about root cause. This isn’t about a generic prescription to “exercise more” or follow the workout of the day.  With the team, I can gather the data needed to develop the appropriate plan for you. We can work together to develop a pragmatic and executable plan and set goals that are meaningful and measurable.
  • Integrate: The journey may start with movement but then you can expand to working with a dietitian, a health coach and Dr. Sharlin. I’ll have new tools to track your progress, deliver workouts and offer you support via online communities and challenges.
  • Restore: By meeting you where you are, we can work to restore strength and functional movement for a solid foundation. With the right tests and tools, we can strengthen weak links and more easily remove the limiting factors that keep you from getting the results you want.
  • Regenerate: Movement supports the restoration of brain health and function to help create your best self. With the right combination of physical and mental work we can improve your brain “hardware” and upgrade your brain “software”.

The best thing is the movement I’ve been helping people do for over a decade is a big part of boosting brain health. Now, I’m diving deeper into the science of physical activity for brain health in order to fine tune your plan and integrate the additional services the Sharlin Health and Neurology team can provide. The fitness center isn’t open you but you don’t have to wait to learn more. If you’d like to learn more and schedule your free medical fitness assessment, email me and we’ll set up a time to chat in person or virtually.

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