The information in this course is from the Blood Lab Wellness Specialist CE course.
A recent post in the Journal of Precision Medicine looks at the rise of consumer genetic testing like 23 and Me as the new boon in patient-centered healthcare. This industry is doing over $100 million as of this year, and estimates state that it may increase to over $600 million by 2020. The same thing is happening in consumer-driven blood labs, where dozens of companies are now offering on-line blood lab panels for consumers. This is a huge step forward for the health and fitness industry, because many persons who are engaging in exercise may have a medical condition, and blood labs are a very important element of seeing how fitness can improve their physiology.
“More than 85% of all medical decisions are based on the results of blood tests.” This quote, from Dr. Craig Brandman of Step One Health web-based blood lab company, is a powerful statement as to the benefits of blood lab results in healthcare. How would this type of assessment benefit the health and fitness profession? In my opinion, it may be the single biggest step towards healthcare that could be a beneficial tool used by trainers.
Why? One is technology. Online blood labs like Step One Health and Lab Corps allow the consumer to make a decision as to when to get a blood lab, usually at a lower price than the script from their physician. This is where trainers and coaches can help. They can recommend regular specific blood labs and keep track of the numbers throughout the progression of the exercise program. As fitness improves, blood labs should improve and medical risk should decrease. Second is the rise of the medical fitness specialist. The need for properly trained medical fitness professionals is growing exponentially, since most clients have at least one type of medical condition. It’s increasingly the responsibility of the trainer to have information on their condition, and blood labs are the language that can convince doctors and health care systems that your brand of fitness is indeed effective in reducing risk. Lastly, blood labs may be the single best source of health outcomes that a trainer can generate. For example, who knows what’s better, a leg press or squat? Most doctors don’t know, and most don’t care. However, if those squats or leg presses reduced both A1c and fasting blood sugars on a daily basis, then they are successful. The same as if they enhance immune markers, or importantly, reduced inflammatory markers. It’s up to trainers to select safe and effective exercise programs. But historically, programs that are consistent and have specific outcomes in mind that are tracked will have big results on blood labs.
Trainers don’t have to be Hematologists, but they should have a foundation of knowledge about blood labs for almost every client who comes through the door. This is what the Blood Lab Wellness Specialist aims to provide. The next generation of personal training is here, and part of it really does come in a test tube.
- Durak E. (2018) Blood Lab Wellness Specialist. CE Course offered at Fitness Continuing Education Alliance.
- Greenwood, J. Direct to consumer genetic testing is disrupting our healthcare system by empowering consumers. J. Precis. Med. 2018. Found at: https://www.thejournalofprecisionmedicine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Greenwood-online.pdf
Eric Durak started his journey working with special populations in the 1980s, performing research in exercise and diabetes, and in the early 90s, started one of the of initial wellness programs for cancer survivors. His clinical work helped him develop education programs for cancer, diabetes, hypertension, worker’s compensation, and now understanding blood lab testing. His work in special populations leads the way for personal trainers to become a viable part of our nation’s healthcare system, where exercise and nutrition are seen as the prime method of therapy for improving the health of anyone diagnosed with a medical condition. Our blood lab course will enable trainers and coaches to understand the metabolism of how exercise affects health on a cellular level. Reach him at www.medhealthfit.com