Exercise is Medicine (EIM), is a global health initiative. The vision of EIM, is to make physical activity assessment and promotion, a standard in clinical care. It’s about connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere and of all abilities.
EIM encourages doctors and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans and to refer patients to evidence-based exercise programs and qualified exercise professionals. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health and is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions.
This global effort has been led by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) which has embarked on a significant campaign to educate health care providers regarding the benefits of exercise for a wide variety of diseases and conditions.
Exercise is like medicine in 2 main ways, it is prescribed and has a certain dosage i.e. the type and amount of exercise will be unique for each patient depending on their health condition, the problem they are trying to solve and their physical ability.
However, exercise does differ to medicine in some ways. Doctors would not prescribe medicine to a healthy person, it is only for treatment. However, exercise is not only a proven means to help treat many conditions, it is also preventative in nature.
Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke while reducing blood pressure in those with high blood pressure. It also helps to reduce body fat which, when combined with proper nutrition can help with weight control and prevent obesity (and all the negative health issues which come with obesity).
As well as the many physical issues which can be helped by exercise, studies have shown the many positive psychological effects of exercise on mood, self-esteem and a reduction in anxiety and depression.
Due to so many proven preventative and treatment benefits for both the mind and body, more and more medical professionals are starting to prescribe exercise within their treatment plans, because it is clear that ‘exercise is medicine’… and so much more.