Happy “Exercise is Medicine” month! The American College of Sports Medicine has designated this month of May to recognize the importance of healthcare professionals prescribing exercise for their patients. The Exercise Is Medicine® (EIM) initiative by the ACSM includes an informative website for healthcare professionals and patients alike. Exercise is important for everyone, including relatively healthy patients as well as those with disease.
As a member of the ACSM’s EIM initiative, I’m very proud to promote the importance of exercise for overall health, but also for the management of chronic diseases. Exercise is indeed “medicine” for several diseases. Research supports the effectiveness of exercise in the prevention of conditions such as cancer, arthritis, and diabetes.
Despite the evidence, exercise prescription remains low among physicians. In addition, there are many barriers for patient to exercise including facilities & equipment, specific programming, and lack of time.
The First Step to Active Health® program was developed along with the ACSM to address the barriers to exercise for both patients and healthcare providers. The program was designed by experts under the National Blueprint to Increase Physical Activity, and has been shown to increase physical activity and function in several populations including arthritis, obesity, and diabetes.
In addition to being EIM month, May is also the month designated to increase awareness for chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, stroke, arthritis, osteoporosis, and hypertension. In recognition of these diseases, I’d like to share the research, exercise programs, and other resources we have on these chronic diseases:
- Fibromyalgia Resources
- Stroke Survivor Resources
- Osteoarthritis Resources
- Osteoporosis Resources
- Hypertension Resources
The First Step program provides a FREE tools and a downloadable guide for healthcare professionals to prescribe exercise programs.