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June 2014

Exercise is Medicine!

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In 2008, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association formed a partnership to present the concept that Exercise is Medicine™. Although the partnership was formed initially to teach physicians more about the benefits of physical activity and exercise and then to train them on how to safely prescribe exercise to their patients, it has evolved into a source for many professionals, including personal trainers, for guidance on how to safely get involved with physical activity and to eat more nutritiously.

It has been clear for many years that physically active individuals have less disease and fewer health complications. One way that this is measured is that physically active individuals require fewer prescription drugs, which in itself is a costly item. Exercise, therefore, also has an economic benefit especially for those without health insurance or for seniors on a fixed income. If getting involved with an exercise program can save a family one prescription drug per month, the savings become substantial. The research shows that this will in fact happen.

Think of exercise as a prescribed drug. It can be “refilled” at any time. You don’t have to worry about any side effects except for a little muscle soreness when you first begin, and there are no drug interactions. Best of all it’s free, except for the occasional purchase of a good pair of shoes! The more you exercise the better you feel and the happier you become.

Why not sit down and write yourself a prescription for exercise. Post it somewhere where it will serve as a friendly reminder. Then after 30 days write yourself a “refill” prescription. Start slowly and follow the advice of your doctor. Then if possible, work with a personal trainer to set up a program that will bring you healthy benefits.

It is never too late to start. Just ask a centenarian, one of the 100+ year olds that I wrote about in my last blog what their attitude is about exercise. One reason they have lived a long life is because exercise has always been an integral part of their life. Now it’s time to make it an integral part of your life. Make exercise your medicine for good health.