Exercise Is Medicine

Senior Couple Walking In Park TogetherHow important a role does physical fitness play in a patient’s overall health? This year, nearly one percent of Americans will die prematurely from illnesses whose causes are directly related to sedentary lifestyle. In the words of Kaiser Permanente physician R. E. Salis, scientific research shows a clear correlation between physical activity and good health. At a time when type 2 diabetes is skyrocketing, “. . . I believe physical activity has become the greatest public health problem of our time. Finding a way to get patients more active is absolutely critical.”

The necessity of exercise and physical activity is the motivating force behind the AMA-sanctioned Exercise Is Medicine movement (exerciseismedecine.org). In a nutshell, this nationwide initiative, also supported by the American College of Sports Medicine, urges health care practitioners to make the tracking of patients’ physical activity a component of their treatment program.

Prescribed exercise is the term used to describe a widened model of treatment, wherein the caregiver examines the patient, makes observations, records symptoms, and prescribes treatment, both medicinal and activity based. To meet today’s needs, medicine must move beyond the current “medicate and operate” paradigm to include physical exercise as part of a patient’s monitoring and treatment program. The prescribed exercise model includes the patient’s physical activity as one of the aspects of the patient’s day-to-day health discussed and recorded during the visit. If the patient needs exercise, the physician can prescribe it, just as they would an antibiotic.

Physical fitness is no longer a vanity industry. To be available as a prescribed exercise referral, fitness professionals needs to be accessible to the medical community. This is where MyoKinesis can help.

MyoKinesis is a developer of physical exercise solutions for the caregiving community. To enable the inclusion of exercise in the medical treatment model, MyoKinesis offers a range of options, including a prescribable series of exercise programs ranging from introductory to advanced. In addition, MyoKinesis offers the option of referring the patient to a fitness professional who would administer the MyoKinesis training program. Either way, MyoKinesis transforms prescribed exercise from an appealing concept to everyday reality by making exercise monitoring and prescription an integral part of the office visit.