MASON CITY – May is recognized as Exercise is Medicine™ Month. A nationwide campaign spearheaded by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association, the initiative aims at encouraging health care providers to consider regular physical activity as a means to prevent, treat, and manage chronic diseases to improve health. The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health is piloting their own Exercise is Medicine™ campaign this summer by partnering with area fitness facilities, fitness professionals, and healthcare providers.
Locally, the campaign project calls for participating physicians to discuss a patient’s physical activity habits at the health appointment and when interested, prescribe an exercise program for the patient if it can serve to improve the patient’s health. The physician can also refer the patient to a local fitness professional for discounted fitness services offered by the area fitness and wellness organizations.
“Ultimately, our goal of this program is 3-fold. One, we hope our residents realize the importance of regular physical activity and begin an exercise program; Two, we hope more healthcare providers take time to discuss physical activity with their patients as a way to prevent and manage chronic diseases, such as Diabetes; And Three, we hope to use the positive outcomes of the this program as evidence to health insurance providers that exercise and fitness programming should be considered a standard healthcare benefit.” stated Kelli Huinker, Health Promotion Manager for the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health.