Medicare now pays for a weight loss and lifestyle change program call the Diabetes Prevention Program at Exercisabilities! See if you qualify today!

Have you been told that you have pre-diabetes?

Do you have a family history of Type 2 diabetes?

 You are not alone…86 Million American Adults have prediabetes

Now You Can Prevent Type 2 Diabetes!

Next class start October 1, 2018 – Join Us!

Exercisabilities is Preventing Type 2 Diabetes with a proven program called the DPP (Diabetes Prevention Program).  Exercisabilities is the only site in Southeast MN to get the CDC recognition as an official delivery site and the first in the state to be approved as a Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program.  That means that if you qualify (see below) you can likely participate in the full year program under full insurance coverage.  Insurances that are covering the program at EA include:

  • Medicare
  • MN Medicaid
  • Ucare
  • BCBS
  • United Health Care
  • Mayo Clinic Health Solutions
  • And more!

To qualify, you must:

  • 18 years or older
  • No previous diagnosis of diabetes
  • BMI > 24 (22 if asian) (example 5’8” and greater than 170 lbs)
    At least one of the following in the past year (need a copy of the Lab report on file)\

    • HbA1C: 5.7% – 6.4%
    • Fasting plasma glucose 100-125 mg/dL (Medicare requires 110-125 mg/dl)
    • 2 hour plasma glucose (after a 75 gm glucose load): 140-199 mg/dL
    • Previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes (is not a qualification for Medicare)


you can TAKE THE TEST  to see if you qualify. However, your insurance will likely only cover the program if you have the above items.  You can participate for just $750 for the full year even if your insurance does not pay or if you do not have the above qualifications as a weight loss program.

How to sign up

To register, go to or call us at 507-259-7570

No Physician referral required – You may self-refer

The Program:

26 sessions over 1 year. This is a research program. Regular attendance is required as well as a goal attainment of 5% weight loss in the first 6 months.
Free access to exercise equipment through gym pass 2 days per week from 5-6 for the first 6 months. Learn to be fit class 5-6 PM each Monday and Wednesday staffed with an exercise specialist for circuit strength and cardio training instruction.

Lose up to 7% of your current weight while learning to how to change your lifestyle to support better eating, become more active, and get improved health reports!

“Small changes can add up to a big difference,” added Laurie Brengman, Dietitian and DPP Lifestyle coach at Exercisabilities. “Working with a trained lifestyle coach who provides guidance, DPP participants are making lasting changes together.”



Find your BMI


Download a pdf giving you more information on how to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Program.

See  for more information.

Make a Change in Childhood Obesity Rates, Refer to KidShape 2.0 at Exercisabilities

Childhood Obesity

Is a multifaceted problem that needs a multifacted solution.

Be a part of the solution

Did you know that the rate of US youths ages 2 to 19 who were obese rose from 14% in 1999 to 18.5% in 2015 and 2016, with the most significant increase among those ages 2 to 5?   These findings also showed a significantly higher obesity risk among Hispanics and African-Americans, compared with whites.  Obesity is on the rise, and so is the onset of Type II Diabetes (caused by poor lifestyle habits and is directly coorelated to obesity) in children as young as 5 years old.  Our youth are beginning a health decline at a younger and younger age and only a change in lifestyle habits will turn this dismal outlook around.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  Well, if only it was that easy.  Increasingly busy families are causing parents to put their own health on the back burner.  Lack of sleep, lack of exercise, greater number of jobs sitting at a desk, no time to properly grocery shop, meal plan, or cook…does this sound familiar?  What are these habits leading to?  Unhealthy families and unhealthy children.

Parents serve as the primary role models for their children.  But not only that, parents are the ones caring for the children, and what the parents are eating and what activities the parents are getting or promoting, is also what the children are eating or doing.  The correct approach to turn around the statistics on childhood obesity is to address the problems causing the issues with the entire family.  A well running family results most often in a healthy child.

Exercisabilities is here to help address childhood obesity with the entire family in our new KidShape Program!  KidShape is a comprehensive evidence-based pediatric weight management program for families with children ages 6-12 years of age that is proven to work!  When you need to help a family with an overweight or obese child, we are here to help!

Exercisabilities is Committed to Improving the Health of Olmsted County,

by starting with reducing childhood obesity. KidShape 2.0 includes interactive nutrition activities, with a family cooking program and physical activity education component as well.  It is delivered by a Registered Dietitian and a youth exercise specialist, utilizing the KidShape 2.0 curriculum, which is evidence based and developed by a team of experts which included dietitians, a professional chef, youth exercise experts, teachers, and behavior change psycholotherapists.  KidShape 2.0 includes:

  • Interactive family-based weight management lessons focus on eating healthy, moving more, and feeling good.
  • an initial individualized assessment
  • 6 interactive sessions which include nutrition games and activities, family cooking program, cognitive behavior modification, self-esteem and parenting support, fun physical activities, and more!
  • 8 ongoing monthly meetings with similar format
  • Adult and age appropriate color workbooks
  • Self-monitoring kid-friendly tracking tool

For more information, see our website

Medical, physical, or cognitive disorders welcome!


How to refer a family to KidShape at Exercisabilities

The KidShape 2.0 program, delivered by our registered dietitian, is potentially reimbursable by insurance as group medical nutrition therapy.  It does require a prescription from a qualified medical provider in order to be billed.  If you are not a medical provider, you can have the child schedule a visit with their primary care provider and send a letter to them indicating your recommendations.

Fax the signed prescription with diagnosis indicating the child’s percentile based diagnosis code (overweight or obese) and contact information, along with order specification for :

  •  1 Medical Nutrition Assessment
  • 16 group medical nutrition therapy sessions
  • Length of term- 1 year from start

We will take care of everything from there.  We will contact their insurance company to insure coverage and notify them of any potential out of pocket expense based on this analysis (co-pays or deductibles will apply).

Classes are for groups of 12 children and their families.  Classes are beginning May 2018 and will be rolling from then on.

Fax:  888-624-3107/ Phone:  507-259-7570


2530 Broadway Ave N

Rochester, MN 55906

Heart Healthy Diet

Heart Healthy Diet

Heart Healthy Diet

By Mackenzie Distad, EP-C, BS 

ACSM  Certified Exercise Physiologist/Exercise Specialist

Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way you can prevent or fight cardiovascular disease. Important components of a healthy lifestyle include regular exercise and physical activity, as well as eating a heart healthy diet. What you eat can increase or decrease your risk of heart disease. But which foods are good and how do you get started? It can be tough to change all of your eating habits at once so here are a few ideas to move you towards a more heart healthy diet.

Look at portion sizes

The amount of food you eat is just as important as the types of food you are eating. Have you seen the huge portion sizes served in restaurants!?! Meal portions are growing the in US, so it is important to examine how much you are consuming at mealtime. Try using a smaller dinner plate or bowl at home. If you eat out at a restaurant, box a portion of your meal up right away to take home. Try to practice mindful eating: Do not eat until you feel stuffed or very full; try to eat until you are satisfied and save the rest for later. It is also important to read food labels at the grocery store. Keep an eye on the portion sizes described on the nutrition facts panels.

Eat more fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetable are great sources of vitamins and minerals, are low in calories and high in dietary fiber. Eating more healthy fruits and vegetables can help to prevent cardiovascular disease and may help you avoid eating high-fat foods. Introducing or increasing vegetables and fruits in your daily diet can be easy: Keep them washed and cut in the fridge so they are easy to grab as a quick snack throughout the day. You can also mix them into meals, like in a stir fry, or use them as a side.

Whole grains

Try to make your grains whole grains. Whole grains are full of fiber and other nutrients that help to control blood pressure. Things to look for include whole-wheat flour, whole-grain bread, brown rice, whole-grain pasta and oatmeal. It is important to read the food labels with some of these foods. For example; when purchasing bread, make sure the first ingredient is whole grain or whole wheat flour – not enriched or refined flours. Starting to introduce these whole grains to your diet will help you to be living more heart healthy.

Limit unhealthy fats

Try to cut down on the amount of saturated and trans fats in order to lower your levels of bad cholesterol. High levels of bad cholesterol in your blood can lead to a buildup of plaques in the arteries – increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke. When you do use fats in cooking, etc., choose monounsaturated fats like olive oil or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats are also good choices for a heart healthy diet. These can be found in certain fish, avocados, nuts and seeds. It is important to remember moderation with all fats though. All types are still high in calories.

ExercisAbilities has an in-house Dietician who can provide one-on-one Nutrition Counseling.

Choose low-fat protein sources

Try to stick to consuming lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs. There is also protein in foods like legumes (beans, peas and lentils), soybeans and tofu that are low in fat. These are plant proteins that are lower in fat and bad cholesterol than animal proteins.

Reduce sodium consumption

Eating a lot of sodium can have a large impact on your blood pressure – a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (about a teaspoon). The easiest way to start reducing the amount of sodium you consume is to look at the food labels and reduce the amount of restaurant food you eat. The largest contributors to sodium in our diets is not what we add at the table, but is the sodium in restaurant and processed/pre-packaged foods.

Allow yourself an occasional treat

Allow yourself a treat every once in a while! A candy bar or a few potato chips won’t ruin your heart healthy eating efforts. Enjoy your special occasion dinners with family or friends – but don’t let it turn into a regular occurrence. If you start to incorporate these changes in your eating habits, you will find that eating a heart healthy diet is reasonable and can still be enjoyable.

LEARN TO BE FIT – Exercise and Diet Program

ExercisAbilities knows healthy eating is quite the change for some. That’s why we continue to offer our Learn To Be Fit program.  This year long program combines counsel on proper diet, peer support, accountability and exercise. It’s a great way to make a healthy lifestyle change. Check out the next Learn to Be Fit class on our webpage and get registered today!

For more information on heart health and heart healthy eating, check out the American Heart Association’s website or

Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Program (DPP)

Exercisabilities Medical Fitness Program

Prediabetes is a sign that you may be on the path to full blown Type 2 Diabetes and nobody wants that! What if there was a program to help you help yourself, now, before your pre-diabetes flourishes into something much harder to manage. We have good news for you! There is such a program at Exercisabilities.

January is Medical Fitness month here at Exercisabilities, a month where we focus on sharing our healthy fitness and lifestyles programs with you. One such program is the PreventT2 Program, or DPP (Diabetes Prevention Program), a Type 2 diabetes prevention program meant to help you diagnose your prediabetes and then prevent it from developing further.

What is Prediabetes?

Prediabetes is a technical way of saying you’re just not a Type 2 diabetic yet. It is a term used to describe elevated blood sugar that hasn’t reach the point where you are officially diagnosed at a Type 2 Diabetic. It’s a warning sign that your metabolism is getting out of balance and you need to make some life changes. The good news is that making some healthy lifestyle changes can help stop things from progressing to Type 2 Diabetes.

Prediabetes Risk Factors

Some of the risk factors for prediabetes include:

  • Being overweight (BMI > 24 kg/m2)
  • Eating too much sugar and soda
  • Being physical inactive
  • Having a family history of diabetes or prediabetes
  • Having heart disease, high cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • See more

Signs and Symptoms of Prediabetes

There are typically no signs or symptoms of prediabetes which is why it is so important to be screened for it during a medical check-up or routine bloodwork. This is especially important if you have any of the risk factors.

Diagnosing Prediabetes

The good news is that diagnosing prediabetes is fairly easy.  You can start with the National Diabetes Prevention Program Prediabetes Screening Test. Just click here for a link and then answer the seven questions.


Your health care provider can usually do a simple blood test to determine if you are truly prediabetic. Three common tests are Hemoglobin A1c test, a fasting blood sugar level test or the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test.

Click here for our PreventT2 Program Doctor Recommendation form or stop into Exercisabilities to pick up the form to bring to your healthcare provider.

How You Can Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

There are three key lifestyle changes you can make to delay or prevent your prediabetes from becoming Type 2 Diabetes.

  1. Control your weight – losing just 5-10% of your body weight makes a difference.
  2. Exercise – Get moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day
  3. Nutrition – Avoid sugars and carbs. Eat fresh, fiber rich foods and veggies.

PreventT2 Program

The PreventT2 Program is part of the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This proven program can help you make modest lifestyle changes and cut your risk of Type 2 Diabetes by more than half. The program is offered at Exercisabilities.

With the PreventT2 Program you get:

  • A CDC approved curriculum
  • The skills you need to lose weight, be more physically active and manage stress
  • A trained lifestyle coach to guide and encourage you
  • Support from other participants in the program

Costs for PreventT2 Program – (It may be covered by insurance)

This year long program costs just $520 for the entire one year of 26 dietitian-led education hours, 2 hours per week small group training classes, and 6 months of free gym membership.  That is less than $5.00 per class.  For this low cost, you will have a comprehensive fitness assessment and will participate in our Learn To Be Fit class twice a week.  This non-competitive, fun, and safe class is taught by an exercise specialist and includes circuit strength, cardio training instruction, and a variety of exposure to many forms of exercise.  No matter if you are experienced or have never stepped foot on a treadmill, you will find this class to be welcoming, appropriately challenging, and life changing!

Paying for the PreventT2 Program

Your insurance may pay for the full program. We recommend you call your insurance company directly to inquire about their coverage of the DPP (Code 0403T).

Medicaid, Ucare, and many private insurance companies will cover the cost of the program if you meet the following criteria:

  • 18 years or older
  • No previous diagnosis of diabetes
  • BMI > 24 (22 if Asian)
  • Previous diagnosis of gestational diabetes
  • At least one of the following in the past year (need a copy of the Lab report on file)
    • HbA1C: 5.7% – 6.4%
    • Fasting plasma glucose 100-125 mg/dL
    • 2 hour plasma glucose (after a 75 gm glucose load): 140-19 mg/dL

What makes the Prevent T2 program unique at Exercisabilities?

The typical community provided DPP Program includes 26 sessions with a trained lifestyle coach.  Lifestyle coaches may or may not be a dietitian or personal trainer.  At Exercisabilities, our program is instructed by a registered Dietitian and includes 2 hours per week with an Exercise Physiologist.  These highly skilled providers bring a high level of commitment to your success and safety in this program.  With Laurie and our team of Exercise Specialists, you will see improvements that will bring changes to your life that will create permanent change.

Register for PreventT2 Program

Exercisabilities would love to help you make the small lifestyle changes you need to prevent your Type 2 Diabetes. You can enroll even if you have not been officially diagnoses as prediabetic.

Laurie Brengman, Dietitian and DPP Lifestyle coach at Exercisabilities would love to see you at the upcoming class which starts April 9, 2018. To register, go to


You can help with our 2018 Goals: 200 Twitter followers and 800 Facebook followers!

Follow us on  Twitter and  Facebook @Exercisabilites


Medical Fitness Month – January 2018

January is Medical Fitness Month at Exercisabilities and we are excited to help you reach your 2018 fitness goals.

Here’s the obvious question: What is Medical Fitness and how does it differ from the rest of the fitness industry?

We’ve got the answer!

Commercial fitness programs and gyms sometimes focus on the physical appearance and fun more than the actual health of the client. Have you ever seen a bulked out, steroid induced muscle man roaming the free weight area of your gym? Mr. Muscles is an example of looking fit, but he may not be healthy.

Medical Fitness

Exercisabilities works with you to develop a healthy lifestyle
A New You – Healthy Living

Medical Fitness concentrates on an integrated health program which may include healthcare services, dieticians, mental wellness and physical fitness. Medical Fitness Centers, such as Exercisabilities, often work side-by side with your rehabilitation specialist and medical provider to determine what type of fitness program you need. We strive to determine your current fitness level, your abilities and your lifestyle so we can direct you to the right fitness program. Our goal for you is health and wellness.

Fitness for You

So you’ve been a couch potato the last 20 years? Where do you even get started with an exercise program? Well, it’s not the same place as Mr. Muscles would start! You and he both need some wellness advice specifically tailored to your needs.


Exercisabilities Medical Fitness
New a new start to healthy living?

Perhaps you suffer from Parkinson Disease, had a heart attack, or have experienced a stroke. Of course, your fitness program is going to be a bit unique and tailored for your abilities and medical needs.  At Exercisabilities, our exercise specialists are specially trained to work with a variety of medical complications and diagnosis.  They also work side by side with our physical and occupational therapists to insure programs are safe and effective.



Fitness Classes and Programs

As we focus on Medical Fitness this month we invite you to look at a few of our classes and programs. Our Learn To Be Fit class is perfect for someone new to the entire idea of fitness. If commercial gyms intimidate you or if you just don’t know how to get started, then Learn To Be Fit is for you. In addition, our exercise specialist staff are available for one on one sessions to design the perfect program for you.

Exercisabilities offers Stroke Fitness courses for those who have suffered a stroke and a Parkinson Wellness Recovery (PWR!) program.  Exercisabilities also offers several longer-term fitness programs such as the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) designed to help prediabetic clients learn to eat well and exercise on a regular basis.  We also host a program called ABILITY which focuses on health and fitness for those who have suffered a spinal cord or brain injury.

Exercisabilities Exercise Specialists
Exercise Therapy

2018 Fitness Goals

We know you have at least one New Year’s Resolution related to fitness! Why not give us a call (507-259-7570) or visit our website to see how we can partner with you this year as you strive to be medically fit. We will get you started with a FREE initial evaluation by one of our exercise specialists to assess your abilities to get started on your path to a healthy life!

While Medical Fitness is just one of the many things we do at Exercisabilities, it is one we are very proud of as it can have a profound and significant impact on your health.  As we like to say, “We’re not happy unless you’re healthy.”

You can help with our 2018 Goals: 200 Twitter followers and 800 Facebook followers!

Follow us on  Twitter @Exercisabilitie and  Facebook @Exercisabilities