Fitness As Medicine
Fitness as Medicine—Rx: Take two laps and call me in the Morning.
Ms. Smith: I don’t feel right, I am bloated and can’t sleep.
Doctor : Are you taking part in any physical activity, movement, or exercise program?
Ms. Smith: Sure, I walk the dog and take my spouse to Mid-City Lanes for Zydeco on Wednesday.
Doctor : Although its great you do these activities; I feel the need to put you on a PA regimen 3 days a week, see you in 30 days.
The old-fashioned mindset of polypharmacy is on its way out and a script for exercise is in!
Complementary medicine practice considers the Holistic approach and nowadays even your primary care Physician may write a prescription that complements traditional therapy or exclusively a recommendation for a PA (Physical Activity) program versus solely a Rx for pills.
Sitting=equates to smoking
Clinical studies demonstrate that physical inactivity to be the major public health problem of our time. Sedentary lifestyle habits such as sitting for extended periods of time, couch surfing, and lack of immobility may lead to chronic disease.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention share that people who are physically active tend to live longer and are at lower risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, depression and some cancers.
Evidence demonstrates that exercise/movement/activity is a powerful, easy, and a cost effective way to treat and prevent chronic disease, to mitigate the harmful effects of obesity, and lower mortality rates.
PLUS—exercise has a positive effect on functional capacity and quality of life.
Since 2007 the Exercise is Medicine (EIM) initiative a partnership with the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has aimed to advance the implementation of evidence-based strategies to elevate the status of PA in healthcare, bringing about positive changes and implementation of prescribing exercise has improved outcomes in data released in 2014. The results indicate that having a regular fitness regimen is the new medicine and today physicians and wellness clinicians have a responsibility to assess physical activity habits in their patients and clients and inform them of the risk of being inactive, and offer resources and an exercise regimen.
The reality is that our bodies are designed to move and ensuring that we participate in a structured movement regimen be it swimming, walking, weight training, Yoga, or dancing every day keeps our body, mind, and heart beating—thus helping our mood, cognition, and ability to focus and concentrate while improving our overall quality of life.
Dr. Rx: Make exercise apart of your lifestyle at least 3 days a week.
Work: Become a movement advocate in your workplace. Reach out to your Human Resource department and ask for an ergonomic assessment and inquire about Corporate Wellness programs or incentives such as discounts on joining a gym or weekend warrior programs, standing work-stations, take a walk on your lunch break, take 10 and do Chair Yoga, stretch, and modify your routine so you are taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Home: Create a ritual of stretch, core, or other fitness/exercise sequence of Yoga, Pilates, Dance, or combo. Use your computer, phone, or TV as a tool that works to compliment your lifestyle, agility, flexibility, and personal space.
Nature: Rowing a Kayak or canoe, skating, swimming, running, biking or hiking, surfing or walking there are even cross-training stations in the parks. Just get outdoors and make it a routine.
Accountability: Healthcare and wellness professionals who perform Physical Activity Assessments and prescribe either traditional medicine or Exercise as Medicine trust that you will follow the regimen recommended for optimal results. It’s up to you to take the steps and stick to healthy lifestyle changes. Sometimes signing up with a trainer or taking a 30-day challenge is all you need to get moving.