Guest Blog by Dr Iseult Roche
Similar to the recommendations in Monday’s guest blog from the British Heart Foundation, the Academy of the Medical Royal Colleges , has recently highlighted the importance of exercise and reinforced how important it is for Doctors to encourage this too.
The new report called Exercise:The miracle cure, helps structure how doctors can issue exercise “prescriptions” and generally promote exercise among patients.
Although this may seem obvious and ‘common sense’ as most doctors already do this, in the day-to -day consultation, with an ever increasing number of life-style modifications and cessation advice that has to be given, exercise and its’s level of importance can be overlooked.
GPs are in the best position to educate patients regarding exercise. Certainly the thought that exercise may have a beneficial impact on many long-term heath conditions including Dementia and Diabetes, highlights and focuses the level of importance that should be placed upon exercise promotion and accessibility .
However, this goes further than the GP practice – it is a public health duty to encourage a variety of exercise options to people of all levels of ability and age, and perception must be changed too. A great deal has already been done to promote sport and physical activity across the UK, but emphasis must be placed on promoting this to all age groups, and enable suitable exercise accessibility for older people.
Prof John Wass, of the Royal College of Physicians, said: ” this report reinforce previous findings that regular physical activity of just 30 minutes, 5 times a week, can make a huge difference to a patient’s health.”
Chair of the Royal College of GPs, Dr Maureen Baker, is reported as saying “There is no doubt that exercise is beneficial for our patients’ physical and mental health – but the extent of the benefits, as outlined in this report, are astounding.