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Health Check: Exercising to prevent disease

P.R.E.P. is a 60-day, doctor referred program that is being offered at all three Healthtrax locations in Rhode Island. (WJAR)

Local doctors are prescribing exercise.

It's called P.R.E.P

"It stands for Physician Referred Exercise Program,” said Chuck Henley, vice president at Healthtrax Fitness and Wellness.

P.R.E.P. is a 60-day, doctor referred program that is being offered at all three Healthtrax locations in Rhode Island.

"What's really nice about PREP -- they can prescribe the exercise, write the prescription, send it to us. We'll fill the prescription for them,” said Henley. "We provide the facility, the program, nutrition counseling in 60 days.”

Kevin Williams is a participant in the exercise program.

"For me, structure has been my most difficult thing with exercise,” said Williams.

His doctor prescribed it for him to lose weight and help prevent diabetes.

"I've seen a lot of progress," he said. "I lost two inches in the waist and my BMI went down three points."

"We track their performance on the circuit and want them to steadily increase their performance throughout the program," said Ryan Heller of Healthtrax.

Diane MacDonald saw the pamphlet for the program in her doctor’s office. That was a few months ago.

"I wasn't feeling very energetic,” she said. “And I wasn't feeling well about myself, so he sent over the prescription to Healthtrax."

There, she was issued a card, with built in software, which helps keep track of her progress.

"My doctor knows how many times a week I'm coming, what the progresses are, so overall it's been great for me as a motivator,” said MacDonald.

For Rebecca Fortes, her prescription was for weight loss, strength and all around fitness.

That referral in January resulted in a 70 pound weight loss. She’s a P.R.E.P. graduate, but her journey isn’t over.

“I do have to be responsible for what I said I would do as goals, but I've been managing that," said Fortes.

In order to participate in P.R.E.P., you need a referral from your doctor. If he or she isn't on board yet, maybe you can tell them about it. The cost of the 60-day program is what you might shell out for two co-pays: $60.

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