“You need to exercise more and eat healthier food.” It’s pretty easy for family and friends, colleagues at work, and medical professionals to give that advice. For the recipient, however, the message can be a slow one-two punch. The first blow implies you’ve been doing it wrong; your poor habits and lifestyle are responsible for your current health. The follow-up hit strikes when you realize you haven’t a clue how to change and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Many of us have experience with starting and quitting new diets and exercise programs. So maybe we loosen our belt a few notches and slough it off with a self-deprecating shrug. For people with chronic diseases and health conditions, however, failure to make lasting lifestyle behavior shifts can mean isolation, despair, and even early death.

Dallas-based, Cooper Wellness Strategies recently introduced Cooper Tracks. Cooper Tracks are exercise and education programs for people with chronic health conditions. The programs are suitable for post-rehab patients ready to transition to a planned exercise regimen. There are separate programs for people with a variety of conditions: diagnosed stable cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. Each 8-week program includes two group exercise and education sessions per week, before and after health assessments, exercise tracking tools, social support and accountability, and educational content specific to the participant’s health condition.

Cooper Wellness Strategies sells Cooper Tracks to companies and community organizations. The program package includes virtual train-the-trainer materials for local personnel who will work with the patients.

Cooper Tracks has two notable elements that drew our attention. The program’s virtual training is yet another form of telehealth or remote digital health service. The second attraction is the attention directed to assist patients with learning and adopting strategies relevant to their specific health conditions.