Prescribing exercise: how to hurdle over the hurdles

Previous CSM4ed blogs have outlined the critical need for sports medicine practitioners to prescribe exercise (Exercise Deficit Disorder: A disorder of the new generation; Physical activity: The silver bullet; Sports medicine: Promoting health and physical activity; Get up and get moving).

Sounds great in theory, but how does a clinician fit one more thing into an already constrained and jam-packed appointment schedule? What if you as a practitioner aren’t that active or don’t feel qualified, what then? Many clinicians would love to support their clients in becoming physically more fit, but feel that they don’t have the time, training, nor success to make a difference.

In a recent post on the BJSM blog, Ann Gates distills some key points from a recent systematic review of primary care providers’ perceptions of physical activity counseling. She outlines some practical ways to help clinicians succeed in prescribing exercise. You can access those suggestions here.

If you want to know more about how you can help your clients become more actively involved in their own health turn to Chapter 16 in Clinical Sports Medicine. Entitled “Principles of physical activity promotion for clinicians”, the chapter covers such topics as “Who should receive exercise counseling,” “Are there medical contraindications to being active,” “Exercise guidelines”, and “An overlooked element of motivation.”  You can also read about the inspiring success story of “Mrs. L” who moved from inactivity to independence…at the age of 72!

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Ann Gates is a Chronic Disease Exercise Specialist and Founder of “Exercise Works!” (@exerciseworks). Exercise Works! is dedicated to educating and supporting health professionals to understand the benefits and the ability to give constructive exercise advice to patients. They also produce a variety of products to help clinicians give safe and effective, brief intervention, exercise support to each patient consult. To learn more about Exercise Works! check out their website.

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