"Everyone should start or renew their exercise program now as an investment in life-long health,” said Robert E. Sallis, M.D., FACSM, and chair of the Exercise is Medicine™ Executive. “Every person is responsible for his or her own physical activity regardless of age and health. There are so many more reasons to exercise than there are excuses not to.”
Exercise Lowers Health Care Costs
Research shows that exercise has a role in the treatment and prevention of more than 40 chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hypertension.
“While there are numerous reasons for soaring health care costs, one undeniable explanation is the poor physical health of so many Americans,” Sallis said. “Exercise is something every person can do to control the rising cost of health care and improve their lives.”
Health Care Provider Involvement is Key
Most health care providers don’t realize the effect they have in motivating patients. Nearly two-thirds, or 65 percent, of patients would be more interested in exercising if advised by their doctor and given additional resources.
“Health care providers, including physicians, should assess physical activity at every appointment, write exercise prescriptions and be prepared to refer patients to fitness professionals,” Sallis said. “Every doctor should be an exercise advocate.”
A Two-Way Street
Starting a physical activity program can be as simple as taking a brisk walk each day and gradually building up frequency and duration. Patients are also encouraged to talk to their health care provider for an exercise prescription if additional advice and guidance are needed.
Easy-to-use Tools Available
Most people already know the importance of exercise. Many are overwhelmed by where and how to start, particularly those new to exercise, who may have an existing health condition and the elderly.
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