Regional One Health’s Post-Rehab Wellness Program helps patients make a safe, healthy transition from physical therapy to a regular exercise routine.
Personal Trainer Alexavier “Javi” Seals recently joined the team at the East Campus Center for Rehabilitative Medicine to lead the Post-Rehab Wellness Program.
He works with physical therapists to help patients who are recovering from an injury or illness avoid re-injury and stay motivated by learning to exercise properly.
Starting an exercise program is challenging under any circumstances. Doing so after undergoing physical therapy for an illness or injury can be especially daunting.
Regional One Health Outpatient Rehabilitation Manager Ambrosia Scott, DPT, LAT, CCI, created the Post-Rehab Wellness Program at the East Campus Center for Rehabilitative Medicine to help patients make that transition safely. The program combines physical therapy and personal training to address each patient’s individual needs and goals.
“Having both a personal trainer and physical therapists on our team stops the cycle of patients re-injuring themselves and coming right back to therapy,” Scott said. “A personal trainer can guide them to exercise appropriately and safely, and we can bring in a physical therapist to help if they experience aches and pains, so they don’t get discouraged and stop exercising.”
Alexavier “Javi” Seals is the new manager of our Post-Rehab Wellness Program, which helps patients safely resume a normal exercise routine after they complete physical therapy for an illness or injury.
Personal trainer/Group Fitness instructor Alexavier “Javi” Seals recently joined the team as the Post Rehab Wellness Program’s coordinator. He has a wealth of fitness education experience and a gift for keeping clients motivated.
After graduating from Vanderbilt University in 2015, Seals taught group fitness classes including dance, Zumba, spinning and yoga. He ultimately decided to obtain his personal trainer license.
His experience and training taught him to work with a variety of clients. “In group fitness, you see all different ages, genders, body types, abilities,” Seals said. “You learn to cater to what each person can do so they can get better at what they want to do.”
It’s a perfect fit for Post-Rehab Wellness, which serves a diverse population.
Some patients are being discharged from physical therapy after an acute illness like a stroke or heart attack, or after an acute injury from sports, a car accident, work, etc. Others are undergoing physical therapy for a chronic condition like lupus, diabetes, obesity, or back or joint problems. The program also serves patients who simply want to improve their overall health.
For every patient, it starts with an evaluation by a physical therapist. Patients who are already in rehabilitation are evaluated by the therapist they are working with, and those who want to seek out the program on their own can make an appointment with a therapist for a consultation.
If the patient is a good candidate for Post-Rehab Wellness, they are referred to Seals for an assessment. He takes each patient through various cardio and strength exercises so he can gauge their strengths and weaknesses: “It gives us a benchmark, so we can see how they’re progressing, and what’s working and not working,” he explained.
The Post-Rehab Wellness Program combines the skills of personal trainers and physical therapists to help patients learn how to exercise properly so they can make progress while avoiding re-injury.
Then, he designs a workout routine targeted to the patient’s individual needs and goals and helps them learn to perform the exercises properly.
Typically, each session starts with a warm-up including cardiovascular exercises followed by upper body, lower body and core exercises and ending with a cool-down which involves flexibility and stretching exercises.
“Education is also a big part of it,” Seals said. “I talk to patients about improving their diet and which foods are healthy, and how they can exercise safely on their own, so they avoid re-injury.”
Through it all, Seals focuses on keeping patients motivated. “I want them to feel like they can come to me with any concerns. I try to be approachable, so they bring me all the good and all the bad that they’re dealing with,” he said. “I want to understand what is causing them stress or to feel a lack of motivation so I can provide the right type of motivation to get them back on track.”
“I tell every patient, ‘The more you share with me, the more beneficial and helpful I can be.’”
Scott said Seals has the unique ability to make exercise fun – something that goes a long way in terms of keeping patients engaged. “He has a natural ability to bring people in and encourage them,” she said. “People want to be around him and they enjoy exercising with him, so even if they’re working hard, they want to keep going!”
Patients with private insurance can make an appointment directly with a physical therapist, and those with Medicare or TNCare should ask their physician for a physical therapy referral.