A PROCLAMATION FIT FOR AMERICA’S FINEST CITY AND OUR HEROS:
MAYOR JERRY SANDERS DECLARES MAY 2012 “EXERCISE IS MEDICINE MONTH™”
FOR THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO
Function First, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the American Council on Exercise® (ACE®), are Joining Forces with Mayor Sanders to celebrate May as Exercise is Medicine™ Month in San Diego by supporting actively deployed National Guard, Reservists and their immediate families with professional fitness training services at no cost.
Function First is promoting Exercise is Medicine Month by pledging to provide 320 hours of free fitness training services throughout the month of May 2012 to U.S. service members and their families, thereby enriching their overall quality of life and health through exercise.
Thank you. We want to give back to you.
Whether you’re an activated National Guard or Reservist, or an immediate family member of someone who is, we want to show our sincere gratitude by offering fitness training services (such as personal training sessions or fitness classes) at no cost to you and your family.
“Exercise is Medicine™ Month perfectly aligns with the goals of Function First. We promote improving quality of life through physical activity, and that is exactly what Exercise is Medicine™ does. Function First is proud to be Joining Forces with ACSM and ACE to provide these local heros and their family members the support they respectfully deserve,” states Anthony Carey, MA, CSCS, AHFP.
Click here to get started with your free fitness training services
Exercise Is Medicine
As health system reform takes center stage in the United States, prevention has become a hot topic among lawmakers, media and the public. Some question the cost savings of preventive health care. Does it save money in the long run, or is it an expensive indulgence with too little benefit to justify the up-front cost?
Answer: It depends. While many diagnostics, such as colonoscopies and mammograms, save lives and head off expensive treatment regimens, some may be unneeded. Sound medical judgment and appropriate guidelines are required.
This kind of clarity for the patient is what the Exercise is Medicine™ initiative by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is all about. This initiative “is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include exercise when designing treatment plans for patients.” This may seem like an obvious part of every medical visit, but sadly, it is not.
The foundation of Exercise is Medicine was a need for medical providers to deliver a more direct and compelling message about the benefits of exercise beyond the ineffective, “you need to get more exercise” message. Instead, providers of the Exercise is Medicine community are expected to document patient activity and ask about exercise as part of their vital questions and conclude each visit with an exercise prescription or referral to a qualified fitness professional. The Exercise is Medicine program is advocating this initiative among medical professionals in a way similar to how pharmaceutical companies promote their products. After all, If there were a pill that provided all the benefits of exercise, surely every physician would be eager to prescribe it! Physicians must be encouraging patients to take a step toward a healthy lifestyle. This is the purpose behind Exercise is Medicine™.
Many people see their family doctor as the first line of defense against illness, but these doctors are often not trained in how to use exercise as a treatment. For this reason, it is imperative that the patient gets help from a qualified fitness professional to insure their safety and maximize the benefits of the exercise experience. Without proper guidance, the reluctant exerciser will likely get frustrated or injured and discontinue.
Fitness professionals provide a service along a wide continuum of health needs. Unfortuantely, the reality of the fitness industry is that not all fitness professionals are created equally. This has led to hesitancy among many medical providers to refer to fitness professionals. And rightfully so. At one end of the spectrum, some fitness professionals are only qualified to work with already healthy individuals looking for motivation, accountability and variety. At the other end of the spectrum are fitness professionals with graduate degrees, multiple industry certifications and additional training working with special populations (orthopedic problems, heart disease, obesity, etc.). The greater the risk factors a person’s health history contains the more qualified their fitness leader should be.
If you are looking for fitness professionals with advance degrees and certification, you’re more likely to find them in private studios or working in conjunction with other medical practitioners. Typically, the big, commercial health clubs are not conducive to working with patients that may have special needs and risk factors.
Bottom line: While we trim unnecessary costs to better manage health-care resources, let’s keep in mind the powerful and necessary cost-effective potential of healthy lifestyles. Preventive healthcare should be considered an investment or personal insurance. For you and me, the choice regarding our health is simple: Either invest a relatively small amount in order to stay in good health, or pay a huge amount later to treat the disease that is bound to eventually hit us. Truly, exercise is medicine—a prescription for better health.
To Your Health,
Anthony Carey M.A., CSCS, CES
CEO and Founder of Function First
Member of The Exercise™ is Medicine Task Force