Gyms, doctors teaming up to help with recovery of patients

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) — There is a new trend in the fitness world — Doctors are teaming up with certain gyms to help people ease into their workouts, and there could be a perk for patients.

A lot of people don’t realize there could be a way for your policy to pay for your fitness regime through health savings accounts or flex spending.

For instance, if an exercise regime can be beneficial or rehabilitative to a patient, Tampa Chiropractor Dr. Danielle Hoeffner, of Opti Life Chiropractic, can write a doctor’s order.

“They just hand it to their insurance company and it’s taken care for massage physical fitness – that can be covered by those savings accounts.” said Dr. Danielle Hoeffner.

Dr. Hoeffner works closely with First Fit Tampa Director Jim White, who knows exactly what’s he’s dealing with before a client even walks through the door of his gym.

“I will know the background of that particular client, and I’ll know what the doctor is looking for in this fitness plan. I can confer with them to find out what exercises they can and cannot do – so we don’t injure them any further,” said White.

White runs small group classes at his studio off Gunn Highway in Tampa that combines resistance exercises with cardio moves. If someone in the class can’t do an exercise they’ve already been trained on how to do an alternative one that is more suited for their recovery.

“I take that time at the interview process when I first meet you – conferring with your doctor about what you should or should not be doing – and building that personalized workout for you, but you still get to it in a group setting, at the cost of a group class,” said White.

The program allows people to meet their fitness goals safely while recovery from injuries because of the doctor and trainer work so closely together.

Anyone can sign up for the class, it’s not designed specifically for people with injuries, rather it allows those who are to tailor their workout when needed. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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