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Students get in shape at exercise symposium

Written by Brian Hickey, Jr.


VSU students will have the chance to learn about getting in shape this Saturday during the “Exercise is Medicine” symposium at 8:15 a.m. in Jennette Hall room 1111.

The Exercise Physiology Club will host the event with an initiative to make physical activity and exercise a standard part of disease prevention and treatment in the United States.

“Exercise is Medicine” was born from a similar initiative launched by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) in November of 2007.

According to a VSU Exercise Physiology Club press release, both were developed to “encourage primary care physicians to include exercise when designing treatment plans for patients.”

An incentive that stems from a belief shared by both the ACSM and AMA that exercise and physical therapy play very important roles in treatment of diseases and prevention of future ones and should be assessed  upon patients’ office visits as medical care.

The entry fee for the symposium will be $15, and the one-day event will include seven different sessions led by several instructors.

“This year we got several physicians that are speaking as well as nurse practitioners,” Dr. LaGary Carter, VSU exercise physiology coordinator, said. “We do have an exercise physiologist that’s speaking this year who’s an adjunct faculty member here at VSU.”

Sessions are from 8:15 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. and will focus on various subjects throughout the day.  It will begin with “Exercise is Medicine,” followed by “Diabetes & Exercise” at 9 a.m. and then “Heart Disease & Exercise” at 9:45 a.m.

“Exercise & Pregnancy” will be at 10:30 a.m., followed by “Exercise Guidelines for Children” at 12:30 p.m. Students will then be given a break, and sessions will pick back up at 1:15 p.m. with “Mental Health” and conclude with a final session at 2 p.m. entitled “Nutrition for Exercise & Weight Loss.”

All students are encouraged to come out as the event is intended to inform anyone interested in attending.

“We want to make the public and the community aware of the ‘Exercise is Medicine’ initiative,” Carter said.

Students who are exercise physiology majors are also encouraged to join the Exercise Physiology Club as it tries to grow in numbers and eventually provide other amenities for students.

“We are trying to build up the club,” Carter said. “In the future (we) want to offer incentives to students. For example, students who may finish at the top of their class may have their certification exam paid for or even their stoles.”

There are very big hopes for the symposium to grow in popularity in the future.

“This is something we hope or plan to offer every year,” Carter said. “We also intend to offer continuing education credits for those who may be various health professionals.  We are also considering having a theme each year or a major focus.”

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