The Front Lines of Health Care

I’m down in NYC for a meeting of the Equinox Health Advisory Board.  I am not much on boards any more, but this one is a lot of fun and quite interesting, as we consider the increasing role of health clubs – and Equinox is a major provider of fitness services – in health care.  Terminology here is important as we parse among what the doctor, what the physio, and what the personal trainer can claim to do, or legitimately participate in.  What is not in doubt is that as our health care system (if we can call it that, it is more of a ‘sick care system’, and not a well system, let alone a wellness system) is increasingly taxed and focused on disease management, the lowest level of health care.

With the advent of genetic testing for markers of inherent weaknesses or predictors of future possible problems, and sophisticated blood testing for signs of chronic stress or nutritional deficiencies, how much is it either out of bounds for a health club to initiate the conversation and testing about these possibilities about probabilities?  Or, on the other hand, are they letting their customers down if they do not urge testing for these markers that are relevant to the design and results of a fitness program?

Gyms have changed a lot over the years – from sweaty places of clanging iron in the 70’s to aerobic disco-blasting classes in the 80’s to more sophisticated neural recruitment / movement strategy issues in the 90’s to core activation and stability in the 00’s, to fascial health in the teens – by the time the ’20’s roll in, health clubs may be the place you go to test your once and future viability on this planet.  A lot of baby boomers want to be viable into their old age – this will be a huge issue.  It is good to be a part of a group considering these issues.