Exercise is Medicine! PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 February 2006 09:41

Walking is a great form of exercise.

 

If you are interested, please read the following, which is directly from the American College of Sports Medicine, Exercise is Medicine.

I am a member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. As part of my membership, and my role in the professional health and fitness community, I’m committed to encouraging physical activity for the health benefits it has for all people.

I’m concerned, however, that people view exercise and its many benefits in the wrong light. Many might see physical activity as an optional activity, perhaps a “hobby” or something to do seasonally, like when they need to shape up for a high school reunion or take a stab at a New Year’s resolution.

This is simply not the case. Daily physical activity and exercise are absolutely essential to good health and weight maintenance, particularly important as we are facing an obesity epidemic in this country.

The need to be a more active nation is at the core of a new initiative launched by ACSM and the American Medical Association earlier this month called “Exercise is Medicine.” The goal of the Exercise is Medicine program is to encourage physicians to “prescribe” exercise during patient visits. Able patients will be advised to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity and 10 minutes of stretching and light muscle training five days a week.

If there were a drug that could prevent or treat numerous chronic conditions – such as hypertension, cardiac disease and diabetes – surely every doctor would be eager to prescribe it. After all, “prescribing” such an activity would be in patients’ best interests. This “drug” exists, but not in pill form; exercise can treat (or prevent) all these conditions and more, in only 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day.

Even so, a recent survey conducted of the public by ACSM found that while four out of 10 physicians (41%) talk to their patients about the importance of exercise, they don’t always offer suggestions on the best ways to be physically active. But, nearly two-thirds of patients (65%) would be more interested in exercising to stay healthy if advised by their doctor and given additional resources.

The next time you visit your doctor, ask a few questions about your health status. Are you at a healthy weight? Taking your current health status into consideration, what types of exercise are best and safest for you? Is there a certified trainer or registered nutritionist you should visit to improve your health?

And if you’re a physician, please talk with every one of your patients about exercise, if you don’t already do so. Counseling them on the benefits of physical activity and what it can do for their long-term health and well being is critical, and should be a standard part of your practice.

To learn more about Exercise is Medicine please visit www.exerciseismedicine.org.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Vitale, MD
ACSM

 

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