S.A.F.E Assessment at ExercisAbilities

ExercisAbilities is all about helping you stay healthy and fit in a safe manner adjusted to your level of ability. Afterall, what’s safe for someone recovering from a stroke is quite different from what’s safe for someone recovery from a traumatic brain injury! That’s why we’ve developed an assessment tool to match you to the fitness programs that are best suited for your level of physical and cognitive ability.

Physical Therapy at ExercisAbilities

First Things First — Physical and Cognitive Ability Assessment

One of the first things we do with each client is called the S.A.F.E Assessment. Our trained staff will meet with each new client and utilize our S.A.F.E. Assessment tool to determine your physical and cognitive abilities.  This information is used to determine which level of classes and care are best suited to your specific needs. Staff will then direct you to the correct programs for your ability level. The program will be:

S = Safe

A = Active

F = Fun

E = Effective

Or as we say, S.A.F.E!

Staff will determine what activities and care are best suited to be effective for your long-term care.  Some of the stuff you need to do to stay fit and healthy isn’t really fun. It’s sometimes rather painful, isn’t it? We know this is true and so our staff tries to make things as fun as we can for you so you’ll enjoy your program.

S.A.F.E Assessment Levels

After your one-on-one S.A.F.E Assessment, staff will assign you to one of four different ability levels. You may start in one level but progress to a different level over time.

LEVEL 1 – Needs assistance of up to 2 people to get on and off equipment safely. Needs assistance for the entire session for safety with balance, strength or cognition. Cannot participate safely in open gym or any group sessions. Requires one-on-one assistance at all times for safety and effectiveness of session.

LEVEL 2 – Needs assistance of one person to get on and off equipment. Cannot follow instructions or speed of large group class, needs modifications. Can participate safely in a 1 Staff/4 client ratio or 1 staff/2 client class ratio. Is okay on equipment if there is a staff or supervisor in the immediate area.

LEVEL 3 – May use a walker or need supervision with transferring on and off equipment. Okay to be alone on equipment. May need modification in large group class such as a chair. Can follow instructions in large group.

OPEN Level – No assistance required. Safe to exercise alone with normal large group exercise program participation.

Medical Fitness for Everyone!

 Our SAFE Assessment Tool allows us to have safe fitness programs for everyone, at every ability level. A client who is mobile and wanting help managing their pre-diabetes is likely going to be assessed the OPEN Level and enrolled in our LEARN TO BE FIT Exercise and Diet Program. However, we can also serve a client who has almost no mobility, LEVEL 1, with our adaptive equipment and customized fitness sessions.

Whatever your needs, whatever your ability, ExercisAbilities will help you prepare to improve your health and fitness.

Call us at 507-259-7570 or stop by our offices at 2530 N. Broadway in Rochester MN to schedule your own SAFE Assessment.


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

Follow us on  Twitter @Exercisabilitie and  Facebook @Exercisabilities

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 wellconnectsemn.org.


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