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9 of 998 DOCUMENTS - Page 1 Viewpoint The benefits of...

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Page 1 Viewpoint - The benefits of prescription exercise GP Magazine September 28, 2007 9 of 998 DOCUMENTS GP Magazine September 28, 2007 Viewpoint - The benefits of prescription exercise SECTION: CLINICAL; Pg. 24 LENGTH: 1355 words A prescription for exercise with a follow-up can offer an incentivise your patients, explains Dr Cathy Speed. The concept of exercise for health-related benefit is not new Hippocrates recognised the merits of physical activity as a potential fountain of youth. But lifestyles have changed dramatically since his time and never has the issue of exercise for health been more important than now. Our sedentary society is characterised by obesity and lifestyle-associated medical complaints, many of which will benefit from a regular exercise regime. The benefits of exercise Regular exercise is linked with significant reductions in morbidity and mortality associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, arthritis and osteoporosis; reduced anxiety and depression; enhanced well-being; and improved physical function. A third of deaths from CHD could be prevented if people started taking more exercise. Exercise is also as effective as an antidepressant in mild-to-moderate depression. In spite of this, exercise prescription - the recommendation of a structured and progressive physical activity programme for health-related benefit - is all too often a forgotten area of healthcare. Identify aims However, just as physicians are responsible for any drug scrip they write, the potential benefits and risks of exercise for specific populations must be understood by the prescriber. The aims when writing an exercise prescription are to accurately identify those in need and to gain their enthusiasm and confidence and empower them to take responsibility for their exercise programme. To identify the minority who may be put at risk by exercise; develop a prescription that is realistic, simple, effective and safe; and monitor compliance and progress.
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