ABOUT THE CENTER

The transformation of health care in the Bronx depends on your help.

The Healthplex Fitness Center

Hospitals can no longer merely respond to the symptoms of illness and injury. They must deal with the causes. The goal of the medical fitness center is to expand the limits of lifestyle and wellness modification through customized, closely monitored exercise programs for patients, the community and staff.

In addition to offering state-of-the-art equipment, the center provides:

 

  • Group classes including cycling and yoga (as well as classes recommended by members)
  • Complete health risk assessments
  • Medically supervised programs 

All fitness center members receive an initial fitness assessment, a functional movement screening and a demo of equipment in the strength training and cardiovascular areas.   In addition, a wide range of exercise classes will be available in the two studios.

Trained and certified exercise specialists will offer workout advice and guidance to center members on an as-needed basis.  This will include those who require a smooth transition from the clinical setting to the wellness center in supporting lifestyle management and optimal health.  Personal training sessions will be available for those interested.

Under National Management

Healthplex Fitness Center is a partnership between SBH and Healthplex Associates, a national company that teams up with hospitals, universities and medical facilities around the country to create clinically integrated fitness facilities.  All Healthplex managed fitness centers follow The Exercise is Medicine initiative, which views physical activity as a standard part of medical treatment and the patient care process as a means of preventive medicine.

SBH Teaching Kitchen

In a community besieged by obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease, the goal of our team of nutritionists and chefs in the SBH Teaching Kitchen is to demonstrate the clear link between food and health by teaching people how to cook in a healthy and tasty way.  After all, you are what you eat.

Such a program is of paramount concern in the Bronx, a county rife with food scarcity and insecurity.  At a recent focus group, community residents spoke about their difficulty in finding healthy foods near where they live.  “Everything around here is fast food,” said one.  According to another, “There are no smoothie places.  Instead, there’s Popeye’s, Wendy’s, Burger King.”

Community residents said they want an opportunity to buy fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy beverages, and learn how to take those foods they’re familiar with culturally and make them healthier, and to learn how to cook those cuisines (e.g. Mediterranean) they perceive as healthy.

The Teaching Kitchen will provide cooking classes for community residents as well as medical students and healthcare professionals. Beginners classes will cover the basics, including how to hold a knife, cut an onion, read a recipe, and roast just about anything.

Intermediate classes will build on the culinary nutrition principles learned during the beginner classes and will focus on more advanced cooking techniques and recipes.  Students will learn how to eat healthy and well by following recipes that use oil instead of lard, substituting brown for white rice, baking goods with whole grains, and relying on homemade seasoning blends to build flavor without going overboard on salt.

Those students who want to continue eating the Latin-style foods they grew up with in a healthier fashion, might be taught how to create homemade salt-free Adobo or Sazon seasoning blends rather than use store-bought varieties that tend to be very high in salt.   A tostones recipe might be baked rather than fried, and a locrio de pollo dish would likely find an increased amount of vegetables (e.g. onions, pepper garlic), with tomato sauce and olives added for flavor, with lower sodium content.

Research, after all, has shown that food can fight disease, reduce medical costs and heal broken communities.  Students will learn that healthy food can also taste good.  Armed with the right knowledge, it is hoped that students can learn to treat chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes in their families and their community more effectively with a recipe and a cooking pan than with a prescription.

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