Exercise As Medicine Initiative Strives to Decrease Disease and Early Death
By Kathy Feist
Will doctors someday write out a prescription for exercise in much the same way they prescribe medicine?
Yes, according to Laura Corbin, an area personal trainer and former registered nurse.
In fact, that is the objective of a global initiative called Exercise Is Medicine, founded by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association. It is supported by numerous health organizations such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the American Heart Association and the YMCA to name just a few.
Corbin will be addressing the subject during the Health and Wellness Fair held July 23 and 24 at St. Thomas More Parish, 11822 Holmes Rd. Her presentation will begin at 10:30 am on Saturday at More Hall. She is one of 16 presenters on a variety of health-related topics throughout the weekend.
“The goal is to get physicians to prescribe a weekly amount of exercise,” explains Corbin. “They are encouraged to ask patients what exercise they do and if they are falling below the minimum weekly goal of 30 minutes a day or 150 minutes a week. If so, the physician would encourage the patient to seek help from an exercise professional to get a program started.”
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderately-intense physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity each week. Children and adolescents should be active for at least 60 minutes every day.
According to the World Health Organization, a lack of physical activity is one of the top 10 leading causes of disease and death globally.
“There are 35 diseases and conditions that exercise can do much to prevent,” says Corbin. “The majority of diseases are completely preventable if you follow a good diet, exercise and don’t smoke.”
She emphasizes that because of today’s modern conveniences, exercising has become mandatory.
She uses as an example daily chores such as doing laundry. A hundred years ago, women would spend an entire day doing laundry. “Now you can do it with the push of a button,” she says. To compensate for the loss of that regular activity, people must now make a conscious effort to exercise.
“Now it is necessary,” she says.
Her final recommendation: “Stay busy, busy, busy. Really, even into your senior years. You are never too old,” she says. “If you do a lot of sitting around, things go downhill fast.”