October 14, 2019     81.0F   27.2C   
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Dean Goldschmidt Challenges All to Get in GEAR and in Shape at the Medical Wellness Center in the New Year


Dean Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., kicked off the Medical Wellness Center’s “Be the Best You’ve Ever Been” annual New Year event Tuesday by extolling the benefits of exercise confirmed by Miller School researchers – and the yoga, aqua, cycling, and other fitness classes and programs offered at the world-class gym.

Consider the case of a group of 20- to 30-something “couch potatoes” who were enlisted into a half-marathon training program, the Dean said. At the end of their training, their hearts were pumping 25 percent more.

“That’s huge,’’ he said. “Think about increasing the amount of blood circulating by 25 percent.’’

The Dean also pointed to a study by the Diabetes Research Institute that showed the No. 1 treatment for type 2 diabetics is exercise. “It’s not the pills we give you,’’ the Dean said.

But in case the medical evidence wasn’t a powerful enough motivator to get excuse-makers to finally follow through on New Year’s resolutions to get fit, the Dean offered a “new solution” – get in GEAR.

The Genetics, Exercise and Research, or GEAR, study now under way at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics is recruiting healthy but sedentary individuals willing to participate in a tailor-made, 12-week training program. The goal is 300, mostly from the UM family.

Led by the Dean and co-principal investigator Evadnie Rampersaud, Ph.D., research assistant professor, the GEAR study team hopes to identify genetic and lifestyle factors that influence how people respond to physical activity. The perks are enticing: Participants will receive two free blood tests and cholesterol screenings, pre- and post-fitness assessments, a month of supervised training and a tailor-made exercise program.

That was enough to get UM law school alum Barbara Papademetriou off the fence. The just-retired assistant U.S. attorney came to the Medical Wellness Center to learn about its offerings. She left committed to getting in GEAR.

“It’s personalized to get you to do what you’re supposed to do,’’ she said. “It’s just what I need.’’

For more information on the Medical Wellness Center, please visit http://wellness.med.miami.edu/. To learn more about the GEAR program or enroll in the study, send an email to GEARstudy@med.miami.edu or call 1-877-686-6444.