Next Steps Cardiac Program

Local News

If you want to lead a heart healthy life you may want to include an exercise regimen.

A program at Avera McKennan Fitness Center is helping people accomplish that, whether you’re a member at the facility or not. 

After suffering a serious bicycle accident in 2017, Keith Croswell is focused on his recovery and getting his strength back. 

“We’re exercising a lot and getting my body stretched out because it’s, I couldn’t exercise or do anything for about six weeks. And there were three surgeries involved too, so you know it was kind of tough to get back into shape after that,” Croswell said. 

Croswell also underwent a heart surgery for atrial fibrillation, which is one of the reasons why he joined the Next Steps Cardiac Fitness program.

In a short amount of time, he’s already noticing changes. 

“You know the stairs that we just came up here? I barely could go up those stairs, I had to almost rest going up those stairs. And now I can just bound up them, you know so, I’m doing much better after about six weeks,” Croswell said. 

The program focuses on reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, gaining strength, and increasing endurance.

“It’s weight lifting now that I’ve never done in my life, and I never really paid much attention to weight lifting but now I’m starting to learn how to do it, and so it’s much better,” Croswell said. 

“The end goal is just to help you feel better. We want to see lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol,” Jess Walhof said. 

Walhof says each participant receives an individualized program tailored to their specific health needs. 

“We don’t push you right away. We always want to gradually introduce you to exercises, we don’t want you to be too sore. Especially if you do have a cardiac issue, we don’t want to push you over the limit,” Walhof said. 

The program lasts eight weeks, and those who are non-members have the opportunity to become members of the fitness center with the sign-up fee waived. 

Croswell plans to finish out the eight weeks and then become a permanent member.

“I’ll be coming at least three times a week I think,” Croswell said.

To find out more information, click here. 

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