If your physician could prescribe one medication that would boost your self esteem, improve your mood, better your sleep, increase your energy, and could also prevent or treat several medical conditions, would you take it? If this prescription could improve chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and osteoporosis; it would seem too good to be true, right?
You’ve probably seen the drug ad commercials which present the benefits of a medication and the long list of possible adverse side effects, so you may be a little skeptical of your doctor’s recommendation and leery of the side effects of this suspicious sounding prescription.
What’s this wonder drug your physician speaks of you ask?...Exercise
The Exercise Is Medicine (EIM) initiative was created by The American Medical Association and the American College of Sports Medicine to encourage physicians to prescribe physical activity as a regular part of their patient treatment plan and regard physical activity as a vital sign – just as they would temperature, weight and blood pressure. Exercise can play a powerful role in traditional medicine and in some cases, may allow a physician to significantly reduce a patient’s dosage or eliminate the need for medication altogether.
When it comes to exercise the benefits far outweigh the risks. I often wonder why so many find the exercise “pill” hard to swallow. I’ve had the pleasure to work with physician-referred clients at the Wellness Center, and I’m continuously amazed by the healing powers of exercise and the encouraging clinical outcomes; proof that exercise can positively impact so many chronic conditions far more significantly than any one pill. Like any drug, you cannot see the benefit unless you take it consistently. The Exercise is Medicine guidelines call for a prescription “dose” of a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity such as walking, swimming, or biking to reap the most health rewards.
The next time you visit your doctor, he or she may do more than just tell you to get exercise – they may pick up their prescription pad and prescribe exercise.
"If we had a pill that contained all the benefits of exercise, it would be the most widely prescribed drug in the world." ~ Ronald M. Davis, MD, President of the American Medical Association
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