Exercise as Medicine.
April 27, 2009
What if I told you that you could get a prescription for a medicine that would
- lower your blood pressure
- bring your blood sugars down to normal
- help you lose weight
- improve your cholesterol levels
- help you sleep better
- make your bones stronger
- improve or protect your heart
- protect you against cancer
Interested? Well this medicine really exists! Ther is just one catch: it will take you 30 minutes each day to take this medicine. Still interested? You may have guessed that this “medicine” is exercise.
If you find it hard to believe that exercise can do all of the above (and more), don’t take my word for it, go to our own federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services website (http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/adultguide/default.aspx), where for the first time, they have come out with “official” recommendations for exercise and physical activity to combat “hypokinetic disease” (means “low movement”, aka “sedentariansm” or couch potato syndrome). These recommendations were based on an exhaustive search of the research by a committee of leading experts in the field of exercise and medicine over a 2-year period.
The recommendation for adults is a minimum of 150 minutes per week of cardiovascular (or aerobic) activity at a moderate level. It also recommends strength training exercises for a minimum of two days a week. For children, they should get 60 minutes of cardiovascular activity every day, and do strength training exercises two to three times a week. (For more information, go to the website above).
The month of May is Physical Activity month, and the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is promoting May as the “Exercise is Medicine month”, in order to encourage physicians to prescribe exercise as part of your regular office visit. (Read more about it at http://www.exerciseismedicine-public.org/).
Your healthcare team here at Beaver Medical Group encourage you to shoot for the minimum goal of 150 minutes per week this month. If you need help in starting an exercise program, feel free to contact our Health Education department and sign up for one of our classes or make a private appointment. As always, no referral is needed and it’s free, so call 335-4131 and start taking your daily dose of exercise medicine today!