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Auxiliary-Funded Equipment Assists Pulmonary Rehab Patients

| Date Posted: 8/22/2012

Pulmonary Rehab patients Ted Kruk and Joan Hopkins work out on the new Easy Line resistance training equipment at the Center for Health & Fitness-Southern Pines. A donation from the Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary assisted with the purchase of the nine machines.

SOUTHERN PINES – Sometimes when Ted Kruk works out on the Easy Line equipment at the FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness-Southern Pines, he finds himself humming “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.”

There are those who might find the tune an unusual one for workout accompaniment, but for Kruk, a participant in the center’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, it makes perfect sense. He grows more accustomed to the demands of the new equipment every time he uses it.

“At first, it was a little difficult,” he says, “but every time it gets a little easier. I’m glad we have this.”

Kruk has a chronic lung disease that causes shortness of breath. He was physician-referred to FirstHealth’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program in Southern Pines, where a session on the center’s new Easy Line equipment recently became a part of his exercise routine.

The equipment was installed at the Davis Road facility only recently, funded in part by a grant from the Moore Regional Hospital Auxiliary. Although the grant application was submitted for the Auxiliary’s 2012-2013 budget, which takes effect Oct. 1, members of the organization’s Special Projects Committee were so impressed by the equipment’s many potential uses – but especially its Pulmonary Rehab benefit – that they decided to fund it right away.

“The Auxiliary felt this was a worthy project that would be very helpful to the patients who attend the Pulmonary Rehab Program,” says Special Projects Co-chair Carol Ray. “We had some funding left from the 2011-2012 budget year, so we funded it immediately so they could go ahead and purchase the equipment and put it to use now.”

Because the nine pieces of resistance-training equipment in the Easy Line circuit are so user-friendly, even a deconditioned individual can get a full-body workout with just a little training, says exercise physiologist Chris Pevia. Since each piece of equipment operates on a hydraulic piston, and not by weights, the intensity of the workout depends on the individual, not the machine – making it as easy or as strenuous as the individual wants it to be.

“What you put in is what you get out,” Pevia says. “The faster you go, the harder it is.”

According to Pulmonary Rehab therapist Jill Brown, that’s especially beneficial for lung disease patients who often don’t have the endurance for a standard resistance workout. “More and more studies have come out about how resistance training is good for people with lung disease,” she says.

According to Pevia, the Easy Line circuit complements other aspects of the Pulmonary Rehab program, especially in terms of endurance.

“A lot of times, that’s what Pulmonary Rehab patients have trouble with, sustaining an activity,” he says.

As installed in the Southern Pines center, the Easy Line circuit begins and ends with leg extension equipment. Two other leg machines are interspersed among the remaining machines, which also include step, abdominal/back, hip, squat, biceps/triceps, shoulder, pectoral and chest/back equipment.

The person using the equipment moves from one machine to another by way of a timed green light/red light signal: one minute of green-light exercise and 10 seconds of red-light timing for changing machines.

Although the initial Auxiliary grant application came from the Pulmonary Rehab Program, the Easy Line equipment is also used in the center’s Cancer Wellness Program and is available during Pulmonary Rehab and Cancer Wellness downtimes to the general membership of the center, an adults-only facility with an average member age of more than 65 years.

The FirstHealth Center for Health & Fitness-Pinehurst – where the equipment is used in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program as well as by the general membership – has had an Easy Line circuit for several years. Like the equipment at Southern Pines, it has a variety of potential uses and benefits.

“This type of training in the older populations has been proven to reduce falls, increase bone density, and enhance wellness and a sense of well-being,” says Brown, “which in turn help with self-esteem and independence.”

Acquisition of the Easy Line machines in the Southern Pines facility was made possible by a Center for Health & Fitness credit from Technogym (the equipment’s manufacturer) and from budgeted funds from the Pulmonary Rehab and Cancer Wellness programs as well as by the Auxiliary donation.

“This shows that various areas connected to FirstHealth of the Carolinas are working together as a unit for the betterment of the people we serve,” says John Caliri, director of the FirstHealth Centers for Health & Fitness.

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