What is reconditioning?

Reconditioning is a form of therapy that is used to help patients regain an adequate level of fitness through physical retraining. The goal for patients is to enjoy the benefits of regular physical activity again and increase their tolerance to daily activities in order to enhance their quality of life.

Who is reconditioning for?

This form of physical therapy is for people who have a sedentary lifestyle or who have become physically inactive due to an illness, an injury or the risks of daily life.

A reconditioning programme may be recommended for patients with:

  • Heart conditions
  • Respiratory failure (COPD, bronchiectasis, COVID-19, etc.)
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight or obesity problems
  • Cancer or neurodegenerative diseases (MS, Parkinson’s disease, etc.)
  • Chronic pain (chronic low back pain, etc.)
  • Any other reason that leads to deconditioning

Patients often choose to rest when dealing with pain or to protect themselves from potential pain. However, this protective response to pain causes a vicious circle in many patients: pain or the fear of pain, rest, a sedentary lifestyle, a decline in physical condition (muscular and cardiorespiratory fitness), withdrawal from daily activities (work and social life), isolation and ultimately depression and mental health problems.

This chain of negative consequences further exacerbates the pain and causes patients to become trapped in a vicious circle. A reconditioning programme is one of the best solutions for restoring patients’ physical abilities as well as for teaching them how to exercise correctly and safely, while minimising the onset of pain, and how to accept and live with pain.

What does reconditioning involve?

Reconditioning sessions may be given by a physiotherapist or a sports coach in Adapted Physical Education. Both healthcare professionals have extensive expertise in the different conditions and specialise in adapted physical activities. They prescribe appropriate exercises that are tailored to each patient while respecting their abilities, needs, goals and wishes. They mainly focus on patients’ reduced muscle strength and endurance as well as their poor cardiorespiratory fitness.

In order to achieve the goal of reconditioning, these rehabilitation specialists may recommend muscle strengthening and endurance exercises alone or in combination with suitable sports and/or recreational activities.


Therapists primarily use equipment, such as exercise bikes, step machines, rowing machines and treadmills, to improve endurance. They may also recommend any other activities, such as walking or sit-to-stand exercises, which cause shortness of breath and an increased heart rate above the resting heart rate.

Muscle strengthening

Machines equipped with weights, including leg press machines, leg curl machines and cable machines, are often used to improve muscle strength and endurance. Exercises using free weights, such as dumbbells and kettlebells, resistance bands and other types of strength training accessories are also regularly prescribed by healthcare professionals in reconditioning. Lastly, simple bodyweight exercises, which use the patient’s own weight to provide resistance against gravity, are also recommended because they are easy and effective.

Why choose a reconditioning programme at Clinique Valmont?

Offering an extensive range of key reconditioning equipment alongside a team of experienced healthcare professionals, Clinique Valmont is the perfect place to restore your physical and mental health.


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