Exercise is Medicine Is More Than Just Exercise – It’s Hope & Community!

Former special education teacher Donna Cramer has been on the road to recovery from a severe concussion. After three hits to the head within a week in what was described by her doctor as a “perfect storm,” Donna passed out and was unable to return to work. Her symptoms of being unable to balance or speak clearly made it nearly impossible to exercise and very difficult to function normally.


When the COVID-19 lockdown happened 5 years after her injury, Donna needed something to do to keep her active in the safety of her home. That’s when she discovered an email she received from Performance Physical Therapy that mentioned the Exercise is Medicine program. Since she had to stop her physical therapy treatment due to the lockdown, she was thrilled to find a program that allowed her to improve her balance, strength, and coordination with the guidance of a therapist.


Finding The Support of a Community

Donna had always wanted to work out with weights but didn’t know where to begin. With Exercise is Medicine, Donna learned how to integrate weight training in a supportive environment where she can feel comfortable and confident. The live instruction by Alexis Williams, PTA helps Donna and her classmates feel supported enough to challenge themselves. “If you try weight training on your own, it can feel scary, but having Alexis give you live tips is helpful,” Donna says.


Impact of Exercise is Medicine

Participating in Exercise is Medicine twice a week has changed Donna’s outlook on her ability to exercise. She entered the program feeling hesitant to challenge herself, but now that she’s set aside the time and made it a part of her routine, she feels empowered and ready to try other activities. Thinking back on when she started the program, she can see improvement in her strength and balance. She adds “it’s nice to do these workouts in a group because you get to know your classmates and develop connections with them.”


Donna’s Advice To Patients

Hope is what brought her through the times when she felt like her body and speech were failing her. She encourages those who are considering Exercise is Medicine to “give it a try – it’s painless! The pace is slow enough that you can feel comfortable while empowering you to challenge yourself with the exercises. Plus, Alexis is great with modifications and helping you move better.”


Would Exercise is Medicine Work For Me?

If you’re looking to find an opportunity to exercise but aren’t sure where to start, Exercise is Medicine may be right for you! Our program is effective in addressing pain from osteoarthritis, balance issues, weight management, heart disease, gastrointestinal issues, and more! To sign up for Exercise is Medicine, please click here or call 401.726.7100.

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