Posted 05/08/2017

The Center for Health and Wellness, Murray Calloway County Hospital is recognizing May as Exercise is Medicine Month.

Exercise is Medicine® (EIM), a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include exercise when designing treatment plans for patients. EIM is committed to the belief that exercise and physical activity are integral to the prevention and treatment of chronic disease and should be regularly assessed as part of medical care. Along with the National Physical Activity Plan, EIM strives to make physical activity a “vital sign” that is routinely assessed at every patient interaction with a health care provider. Former U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A., serves as honorary chair of EIM.

May is Exercise is Medicine Month and a time to bring awareness to and focus on the issue of physical inactivity. Physical inactivity, a fast-growing public health concern, contributes to a variety of chronic disease and health complications:

 Heart Disease 
According to Keena Miller, Exercise Physiologist and Director of the Center for Health and Wellness, our community offers a broad range of opportunities for engagement in physical activity. “There are numerous, affordable community-based physical activity programs offered in our communities that individuals do not know exist and go under-utilized. The Wellness Center and our physician practices will use EIM to provide a systematic and coordinated approach for engaging community members, across the lifespan, in these programs by developing linkages between local healthcare systems and these existing programs.”

EIM calls upon healthcare providers and the health systems that they work in, to bring awareness to these programs by:

 Identifying safe places (i.e., parks) that their patients can go to be active 
 Maintaining current information on programs being offered in their local community 
 Developing a network of certified/degreed professionals to whom they can refer their patients, and 
 Encouraging individuals to discuss physical activity with their health care providers 
According to Sean Stonecipher, Fitness Supervisor at the Wellness Center, “It is through the establishment of these referral networks and utilization of existing community programs, places and exercise professionals, such as our degreed Exercise Specialists at the Wellness Center, that our community can fulfill our potential in reshaping the health and wellness of our residents.”

Leslianne Gilson believes in the value of physical activity and advocates in the physician practices to promote EIM. “The idea is that if we can get can our physicians to "prescribe" exercise and proper nutrition by either counseling patients in the clinic or referring patients to the Wellness Center, then we can help treat patients as a whole instead of only addressing their complaints by prescribing medication. By having our physicians more involved in this part of patient care and having patients set goals with both fitness and nutrition, we will be giving them the best chance to reach a better quality of life.”

For more information contact the Center for Health and Wellness at 270.762.1FIT.