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Exercise to replace drugs: More Doctors are prescribing exercise instead of medication

Dr Paul Henning PhD, CSCS, CISSN

Prescribing physical activity in the right “dosage” is an extremely effective prescription for the prevention, treatment and management of more than 40 of the most common chronic health conditions encountered in clinical practice.

Exercise is medicine is an initiative that encourages healthcare providers, regardless of their specialty, to take the pledge to assess and record physical activity as a vital sign during patient visits and to conclude each visit with an exercise “prescription” and/or referral to a certified health fitness professional for further counseling and support.

Worldwide, it is estimated that physical inactivity causes:

  • 6% of the global burden of disease from coronary heart disease
  • 7% of Type II Diabetes
  • 10% of breast and colon cancer cases

Inactivity also causes 9% of premature mortality, or more than 5.3 million of the 57 million deaths that occurred worldwide in 2008. On the other hand, regular physical activity:

  • Reduces mortality and the risk of recurrent breast cancer by approximately 50%
  • Reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lowers the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer-specific mortality in adults with higher levels of muscle strength
  • Leads to higher academic performance in children and adults

Although there is much more work to be done, more and more doctors are prescribing exercise instead of drugs as a prescription to their patients. It is great to see that many medical doctors are realizing the value of exercise in treating chronic illnesses and preventing them from occurring.

Medical doctors also see the value in working with health fitness professionals because they realize that they don’t have complete training in this area. They realize that health fitness professionals not only have the training and education to really prescribe exercise for their patients, but they also have the education in nutrition.

Intense, progressive resistance exercise as prescribed in MAX-OT and high intensity cardio as prescribed in MAX-OT cardio is the “medicine” needed to prevent NUMEROUS diseases and conditions that derail your health. In addition, it will give you a much better quality of life as you age. This exercise approach coupled with sound nutrition and key supplementation is absolute key to feeling, looking and performing your best. Trust me; the alternative to this is much, much harder and more expensive.

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