I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. It’s so hard to find good, reliable fitness advice out there. A simple Google search will yield about 20% good information and 80% spammers hoping you’ll buy their junk. It’s easy for the average person to throw up their hands and do nothing.
We need a trusted source to give us information about getting fit. Yeah sure, I’d like to be considered one of those sources, but what about the medical community? They should be on the front line of the obesity war. They should trade in the white coats for a pair of sweats.
I frequently get clients in my studio who were told by their doctors to “work out more.” Great, what exactly does that mean? For the most part, the people I see don’t really know and they wander into a gym and sign up or they wander into a bookstore and grab a book or DVD and hope for the best. Doesn’t that seem almost irresponsible of the doctors?
Exercise prescription is the new frontier of medicine. (Okay, it isn’t, but I’m trying like heck to convince people it should be.) A while back, I posted an open letter to President Obama on how to fix the health care crisis and one of my suggestions was to place personal trainers or exercise physiologists into every general practitioner’s office. Think about it. How many patients need fitness advice? (I’m thinking 95%!)
So here’s what I’m thinking: six of the top ten causes of death in the U.S. are related to obesity. If a doctor sees a patient with symptoms for any of those six diseases, they write them an exercise prescription and a nutritionist referral. My very forward, progressive doctor has both of these professionals on staff and the patient immediately gets booked for follow up.
Instead of being handed pills as a pre-diabetic or borderline hypertensive or whatever, the patient first gets an exercise and nutrition prescription. It is the doctor’s job to scare the bejeezus out of these people. There needs to be a speech along the lines of “Do this or die!” Yes, it needs to be that strong. Fear is a fantastic motivator and a doctor should be able to wield it with aplomb. He is saving lives after all.
The patient then begins their exercise and weight loss program with the doctor’s close supervision. Monthly checkups can help the doctor keep tabs on the patient and the prescription can be adjusted (and keep the pressure on the patient) as needed.
What do you think? I know this strategy would save billions; we’d literally no longer have a Medicaid/Medicare financial problem anymore, and we’d increase life expectancy and help change our culture of obesity over to one of fitness. Wouldn’t that be amazing?