In an interview with HCPLive®, Jim MIastkowski, MSc, HackensackUMC Fitness & Wellness Center, spoke about his work in exercise science, especially working with adult patients in their rehabilitation process after surgery.
Miastkowski is a 30-year veteran in the fitness industry. As the manager of the Fitness & Wellness Center, his work focuses on various special population groups, including heart, cancer, diabetic and obesity patients, with a particular focus on the elderly.
He discussed the process of the fitness center using the example of a bariatric patient undergoing an operation, who creates a baseline before the procedure, and then the sequence of movements after the treatment.
“We see most people after the post-rehab process, usually six to eight weeks depending on the doctor’s recommendation, and then train them on how to begin an exercise program after they go through the process of surgery,” said Miastkowski .
The process is a basic cardiovascular program with a wellness trainer, with exercises in walking, cycling, treadmill, and followed by resistance training with resistance bands.
“The advantage of working with a wellness trainer is that they can develop you accordingly as you progress in preparing your results,” said Miastkowski. “So we can titrate tolerance, they can do more, we give them more exercise, both cardiovascular and resistance space.”
He observed that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a loss of camaraderie among patients who might share stories as a group during the recovery process, but face-to-face interaction can actually lead to faster progression in a patient.
Miastkowski noted that patients may not always feel good during the rehabilitation process, but the reward for exercising is always better than nothing when it comes to achieving their fitness goals.
“Just come here, move your body and get used to it because it’s so easy not to do that,” said Miastkowski. “But once most people feel the benefits of exercise, they recognize the importance of it and move on with the process.”