Rather than passively awaiting the onset of one chronic pathology non-communicable, such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, neoplasms etc., we should strive to conduct a healthier lifestylefocusing our daily commitment also on prevention. In many cases, prevention means delaying – or even preventing – the development of serious diseases that can significantly compromise the quality of our life. This is a mission in which Francesco Annunziata, 47, president of the Fitwess Association and promoter of the project “Health gym”In Tuscany he deeply believes. So that Friday 30 September, will inaugurate the new “HealthFarm” facility in Florence, which belongs to the Stilnuovo amateur sports club. “That of the health gyms – he explains – is a project that is spreading throughout the national territory, and which is now taking on an institutional character. The first region to adopt it was the Veneto ”.
Mr. Annunziata, what is the purpose of the health gyms?
“Propose programs of adapted and structured physical exercise, that is based on the assessment of the internal load of the subject, detected through anthropometric, functional tests, and bioimpedance and metabolic analysis, as well as on monitoring during training, for example the telemetry detection of the frequency cardiac. Physical exercise adapted and structured is therefore adapted to the person in a specific way, designed for those who intend to carry out effective primary or tertiary prevention “.
Can you explain us better?
“Primary prevention means all those actions intended to hinder and / or delay the onset of diseases, such as those concerning the cardiorespiratory, cardiovascular system, or dysmetabolic diseases (such as obesity or type 2 diabetes) , as well as many of the oncological pathologies. Tertiary prevention, on the other hand, concerns all those activities, in cases already diagnosed and clinically stabilized, aimed at reducing the severity and complication of the disease itself, thus improving the person’s quality of life “.
And what are the preventive actions that a health gym can put into practice?
“First of all, we support the subject in planning the overall improvement of his lifestyle, through two of the elements that most determine his state of health: physical exercise and nutrition, which must be adapted to his personal characteristics and correctly integrated one with the other. In this sense we offer free nutritional interviews and targeted physical exercise programs, based on the age and condition of the subject, programmed and planned by a Tutor with a master’s degree in motor science. In fact, everyone has different needs. After that, we offer the first month / cycle free of charge – which lasts about 5 weeks – to patients already diagnosed, provided they are clinically stabilized, or to those considered at risk, and all with a white doctor’s prescription. Although adapted and structured physical exercise is a non-health activity, falling within the initiative health care and health promotion, we believe it is essential that it is prescribed by the general practitioner, sports physician and / or the specialist who is treating it. the subject”.
Why did you feel the urgency to promote the “Health Gyms” project in Tuscany as well?
“Since chronic non-communicable diseases are dramatically increasing in the national population, which tends to be getting older and sicker. Suffice it to say that 60% of public spending in the health sector is destined for the management of this type of pathology. We are talking about 60 billion a year. For the State there is therefore a problem of use of resources, which became even more evident in the era of a pandemic. The average life span has lengthened, but it is also true that we get sick more from cancer, diabetes, cardiorespiratory pathologies, etc., because as we age we face the onset of these pathologies. Furthermore, the lifestyle we lead is less and less healthy. Once we lived in rural areas or in cities more on a human scale, in the open air, in a more natural and less stressful context; we ate healthier food, we breathed cleaner air. Today we are immersed in traffic, we eat in a rush, often precooked foods. Without considering that previous generations were necessarily more active. Faced with a radical change in lifestyles that lead to a greater sedentary lifestyle, now considered by the WHO as a risk factor, only 33% of the population carries out regular sporting activity. And these are just some of the factors that contribute to the increase in chronic non-communicable diseases. As I said, the pandemic has further highlighted this state of affairs: those who suffered the most (over 85%) were mainly the elderly, heart patients, diabetics, the obese, etc. As a result, our healthcare system went into crisis. In other countries where this issue is minor, the issue has been addressed differently. We can say that our population pyramid has turned upside down: less young and older ”.
What do you propose as a solution?
“If civil society began to pay more attention to people’s lifestyles, we would have a lesser and more and more late onset of this type of pathology, but above all a more sustainable management for the national health system. Think of the increase in the incidence of childhood obesity (1 in 9 children) and overweight (1 in 4 children), even adolescents today are starting to develop type 2 diabetes, and this depends only on a wrong diet and on a sedentary lifestyle. Nowadays parents are often very busy with work and children find themselves in front of the television. Few have the time to prepare a snack or a homemade breakfast, packaged snacks are much more practical. Little attention and little quality, therefore, which in the long run can turn out to be harmful, especially in the most predisposed subjects… “.
The Fitwess association chaired by her has promoted the Health Gym project in Tuscany. Can you tell us how?
“Our first structure, the Stilnuovo in Viale dei Mille, had already joined the national project, but we realized that we could not be the only ones in Tuscany to carry it out, because it was not a ‘private’ initiative of our gym, rather than a common intent shared by all of them. First we set up an association, the Fitwess in fact, which brings together plants in the Tuscany region. The Universe gyms in Prato-Pistoia-Empoli-Versilia, the San Rossore Sport Village in Pisa, the 01 Policentro gym and the BodyLine in Florence, the SportingClub Borgonuovo in Mugello, the Ego Anima e Corpo adhere to our Association. of Castiglioncello and many others.
There are also other national trade associations such as Anif represented in Florence by the Biside Clubs that are joining the Health Gym Project.
Each has its own way of joining, but all share the desire to help people and the territory by investing huge resources, both human and technological. As president of Fitwess I contacted Professor Massimo Gulisano, of the Faculty of Motor Sciences in Florence, and together we conceived the Health Gym in Tuscany project, thanks also to the precious contribution of Uisp-Committee of Florence. After that we presented it to the citizens, through a digital conference which was also attended by the president of the Region Eugenio Giani, the president of the third commission ‘Health and Social Policies’ Enrico Sostegni and the vice president Andrea Vannucci, to be evaluated by the States General of the Tuscany Region (established precisely following the pandemic and for the management of the NRP, in order to optimize the regional health system). The project was assessed very positively and, last news, before the summer, Tuscany changed, thanks to the commitment of the regional councilor Andrea Vannucci, its legislation on sport by inserting the specific reference to physical exercise adapted and structured as a further primary or tertiary prevention tool to be complemented and subsidiary to the well-known successful project of the Tuscan region: the AFA. Councilor Nicola Armentano has also embraced the cause and now an experimental project is about to be formalized in collaboration with the Metropolitan City of Florence, the Coni and the Health Societies of the ASL: Health gyms, therefore, are now becoming an institutional project. and we are working to ensure that many other gyms enter the circuit and adopt a sports offer of a preventive nature ”.
The inauguration of the new health gym in Florence HealthFarm will be on Friday 30 September at 6 pm, in viale Corsica 3 red.
What should a person who wants to contact you to start a primary or tertiary prevention program in your facilities should do?
“To start a cycle, you can contact us by email ([email protected]), by telephone on 055 7966167 or 345 5876509 or by going to us in possession of a medical prescription. This also applies to those who are not yet affected by chronic non-communicable diseases but are still in a risk condition found by the general practitioner or a specialist. In fact, it is essential that general practitioners or sports doctors indicate to the subject the need to change lifestyle starting from nutrition, stress management, physical movement and proper night rest “.
If, on the other hand, you want to know which gym adheres to the Palestra della Salute project, you can contact Fitwess ([email protected])