The benefits of medical exercise therapy by Dr GartnerDr Peter R. Gartner - ParkHotel Igls
'Exercise – if performed correctly and under medical supervision – can prevent heart attacks, strokes and diabetes, it helps against osteoarthritis, excess weight and depression, and it keeps young people away from boredom, pubs and drugs.’ Dr Peter Gartner, chief medical officer at the Parkhotel Igls in Austria, is convinced of the effectiveness of physical fitness and believes strongly in exercise therapy being prescribed by physicians. ‘However, exercise is a form of medication to be taken in the right dosage, a plan has to be drawn up to suit the patient and it needs to be implemented.’
Medical exercise therapy – the technical term – means that endurance, strength, coordination and flexibility are trained under medical supervision, irrespective of age. The challenge is deciding exactly what degree of exertion is suitable to achieve the best possible health-promoting effect for the individual. Ideally, a physician conducts a fitness test to ascertain the patient‘s current performance levels. The doctor tests ECG, pulse and blood pressure under stress to determine the body‘s limits. This serves as a basis for an individual, six-month training plan implemented under the guidance and supervision of a personal trainer and a physician. ‘As so often, it‘s all about balancing endurance and recovery. If the medical exercise regime is carried out correctly the positive effects can be quite astonishing’, says Dr Gartner. Correctly means at the optimal training heart rate for the respective type of exercise. The personal training plan you are given to take home clearly states when, how long and how strenuously you should exercise in order to achieve the desired effects for your health.
Intensity, duration, frequency – the correct dosage is the key
What actually happens in the body when we exercise? Firstly, exercise means breathing. Not merely inhaling oxygen but, most importantly, expelling carbon dioxide and thus reducing acidity. Correct training has to be aerobic, i.e. the amount of oxygen in the blood needs to be sufficient and incur no oxygen debt. Furthermore, exercise needs to be fun and non-acidifying; it must not overexert the muscles and, surprisingly, should not be too strenuous. This way, the body experiences ‘good’ stress, which is healing. It reacts to the challenge posed by the physical effort by making small and tiny blood vessels grow deeper into the muscles. This increases microcirculation and improves the body‘s natural healing and repair mechanisms, which is very much in the spirit of FX Mayr who strongly believed in the self-healing powers of the human organism. However, these powers can only unfold if the body is allowed to rest in between exercise days. Baths, massages and rest sessions must alternate with exercise sessions, each of which has to represent a new stimulus. Exercising in accordance with these guidelines will result in an appropriate amount of fatburn and an increase in the body‘s performance levels. Hence you do not gain muscle mass or kilograms, but watts – these are the units in which your increased performance levels are measured.
Exercise leads to physical and mental equilibrium
The Parkhotel Igls offers therapeutic concepts based on Modern Mayr Medicine, which harmonise perfectly with exercise therapy. Exercise plans are tailored to suit the needs of individual guests and, with the guidance of fitness trainers, physiotherapists and doctors, their bodies‘performance and defences can be strengthened. Experience the joy of yoga and movement-based relaxation in the fitness room, enjoy our indoor swimming pool and the magnificent Tyrolean mountains on our doorstep – an unashamed temptation to go out for walks and mountain hikes! If undertaken as a regular form of exercise, walking offers the perfect combination of exercise at an optimal training heart rate plus the enjoyment of nature. Walking exercises a large proportion of muscle mass, improves metabolism, keeps weight under control and is an excellent mood enhancer. If you choose to improve your physical fitness at Parkhotel Igls, we’ll be delighted to draw up an individual exercise plan for you – based on a thorough fitness diagnosis, and we will be with you every step of the way as you implement this plan. This is because we agree with the founder of medical exercise therapy Dr Paul Haber that no drug has as many desirable effects, with no undesirable side effects, as does medical exercise therapy.