Canadian Doctors Write Prescriptions for Physical Exercise, Time for US Docs to Do the Same | Athletic Business

Canadian Doctors Write Prescriptions for Physical Exercise, Time for US Docs to Do the Same

Source: PHIT America 

SILVER SPRING, MD – September 8, 2015 – Many Canadians who visit the doctor these days with health and medical issues are going home with a unique prescription:  written instructions to exercise.

This new philosophy is picking up momentum in the province of Quebec where nearly 9,000 general practitioners have new prescription pads which were produced for exercise and physical activity prescriptions.  The pads are designed so that exercise instructions can be given by doctors in 15-minute increments, which are called “exercise cubes.”  This philosophy on exercise is trickling down to schools in Quebec, too.

"Doctors are showing that they take this seriously," says Martin Juneau, director of prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute.  "It's not just advice. This way, it's a medical prescription.”

This specific program is an initiative of the Quebec Federation of General Practitioners and the Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie — a non-profit organization established to encourage Quebec youth to adopt healthy lifestyles.

“We applaud this extremely positive development in Canada.  So many people say the right thing about the importance of physical exercise, but Canada is taking this to a whole new level,” says PHIT America Founder Jim Baugh.

Many leaders in the USA have been spreading the message about physical activity.

“Physical activity is the closest thing we have to a wonder drug,” acknowledges Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.  “Being active is one of the most important things people of all ages, sizes, and shapes can do to improve their health.  There is no single medicine that comes close to what physical activity can do.”

Dr. Frieden is not alone on this issue as the American College of Sports Medicine (Indianapolis, IN) believes that “exercise is medicine.”

"As a family physician, I have seen first-hand that exercise is a powerful medication,” says Dr. Robert Sallis, medical doctor/co-director of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center (Fontana, CA).

"There is nothing you can do for your health that is more powerful than maintaining an active lifestyle. And for children, the foundation of an activity filled lifestyle starts with daily physical education in our schools,” says Dr. Tim Church, Professor, Pennington Biomedical, Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA).

PHIT America feels great about these comments, but wants the USA to be more aggressive.

“I think some doctors in the USA ‘get it.’  However, this Canadian effort using an actual prescription is taking this dialogue to a whole new level.  We hope doctors in the U.S. quickly follow the lead from our friends to the north,” notes Baugh.

About PHIT America

Founded in January 2013, PHIT America is a non-profit campaign focused on overcoming the severe ramifications of the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ through three strategic approaches – education, supporting school-based activity programs, and advocating – which will get Americans, especially our youth, more active, fit and healthy.

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