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Posted: January 2, 2009  :

Health and Fitness: UPMC Offers Help For Baby Boomers Seeking To Get Fit In 2009

UPMC Sports Medicine invites sedentary, over-40 adults to enroll in ‘Start’ fitness program

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 2 – Experts from the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine urge over-40 men and women to enroll in Start, a lifestyle-changing fitness program that will help participants realistically incorporate exercise into their presently inactive lifestyles. Beginning Jan. 10, experts will guide participants through fitness and education sessions twice weekly for three months, preparing them to run or walk the Athletic Trainer River Run 5-K race in Pittsburgh on March 8.

This is the fourth round of the Start program, which began in 2007 as part of UPMC’s Sports Medicine Performance and Research Initiative for Masters Athletes (PRIMA), founded and directed by orthopaedic surgeon Vonda Wright, M.D. This time, Start will feature new exercise routines designed by Ron DeAngelo, nationally known fitness instructor and director of performance training at UPMC. Most Start sessions will take place at the indoor training facility located at UPMC’s Sports Performance Complex in the South Side.

“Exercise has been proven to help us live better – especially as we age,” said Dr. Wright. “By teaching realistic conditioning exercises, mental training techniques and nutrition tips, Start can help sedentary adults get moving and remain physically active after the program is over,” added Dr. Wright, who also is an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at Pitt’s School of Medicine.

The Start program, using UPMC Sports Medicine resources, directs participants through age-appropriate fitness training, wellness education, medical evaluations and mental coaching. The process involves twice-weekly educational and exercise sessions as well as at-home exercise routines. Participants progress through the program with a group of their peers, ultimately acquiring the skills needed to continue working toward lifelong physical fitness.

Orientation for Start will take place at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 10, at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, 3200 S. Water St., South Side. Regular sessions will take place for three months thereafter from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays. The cost for this three-month program is $300 for new participants and $150 for previous participants. Register now as space is limited.

For more information or to register, please call Karen Quinn at (412) 432-3651, or email

UPMC Sports Medicine’s Performance and Research Initiative for Masters Athletes (PRIMA) provides comprehensive clinical care, training and counseling to maximize the physical performance of adults over age 40 with two tiers of service: Athlete and Start. PRIMA’s Athlete program provides specialized sports medicine services to mature, serious and recreational athletes, helping them to remain fit, functional and performing their best. For those who do not consider themselves athletes, PRIMA’s Start program provides the same expertise to a wider segment of the population, including all physically independent adults over age 40 who would like to get in shape. Founded and directed by UPMC Sports Medicine orthopaedic surgeon Vonda Wright, M.D., assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, all PRIMA services are uniquely designed to help aging adults maintain or increase physical performance while minimizing risk of injury. For more information, visit

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