Exercise can be used to treat illness

(CNN) – We hear it all the time, but apparently you we can’t hear it enough: Regular exercise is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing some diseases. Well now, some physicians have taken it one step further. They’re recommending that health care professionals actually prescribe exercise like they would medicine.

“There’s no single treatment or intervention that can have as diverse benefits as exercise,” said Dr. Lipi Roy.

The journal of the American Medical Association recently published a “call to action”.  Its authors recommend that health care professionals prescribe exercise for all patients.  Calling it “one of the most important prescriptions a patient could receive.”

“Studies have shown that when a health care professional a doctor or nurse advises a patient to adapt a healthy lifestyle behavior that patient is more likely to adapt that behavior,” Dr. Roy continued.

The ‘call to action” recommends health care professionals:

  • treat physical activity as a vital sign
  • write a prescription for exercise
  • and encourage record-keeping of daily activity

How much daily activity is needed?  Hint: You don’t have to run a marathon.

“It can be as simple as walking for 30 minutes three times a week,” said Dr. Roy.  Consider all the diseases exercise can keep at bay, “High blood pressure, type two diabetes, obesity, stroke, depression and the list goes on.”

No wonder doctors are increasingly saying Exercise “is” medicine.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor before starting an exercise program. And remember.  Physical activity can be built into your day. For example, when you go shopping park far away from the store so you can get some extra walking in.

Copyright CNN 2016

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