Integrating Healthcare and Fitness

Why don't more doctors prescribe good nutrition and exercise as part of their preventive care? And why don't insurers cover it?  


That's a good question, and one I wish I could answer. As healthcare evolves in the US, it will be interesting to see what happens. One person who is championing this issue is Gregory Degnan MD. A doctor and fitness enthusiast himself, he sees the great need to increase awareness of the value of fitness in preventing obesity and most health issues. As medical director of ACAC Fitness & Wellness Centers, he is working toward a collaboration between the fitness and healthcare industries.

In a recent inverview Dr. Degnan said, "From a healthcare perspective, obesity is now second only to tobacco use as the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Health conditions related to obesity include diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, hypercholesterolemia, asthma, sleep apnea, gallstones, kidney stones, infertility and at least 11 types of cancer. Many of these (and their secondary effects on the organ systems) are reversible, but many are not. Moreover, obesity-related death is generally a long, slow and costly process." (1)

A study published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology concluded that children of obese parents are twice as likely to be obese as those whose parents are not. So, if you are obese or even overweight, you owe it to your children as well as to yourself to do something about it!

Unfortunately, there is no magic fitness pill. You must make the decision to do something yourself. It may not be easy or pleasant, at least in the beginning. You might need to join a health club and find room in your budget to do so. You might need to wake up earlier and take that morning walk, or ride your bike to the store, or take the stairs at work. You might need an accountability partner or group.

Exercise coupled with better nutrition will eventually produce fantastic results, but it takes dedication. If you've had difficulty sticking with exercise and/or healthy eating, I encourage you to work with a trained professional like myself or someone else you know and respect. It's really the best preventive medicine you can take, and you will feel better both physically and emotionally. Focus on wellness, and the weight loss will happen. If you need an extra push to get past a weight loss plateau, there are many options. Feel free to email me and ask. Everyone is different, which means the approach that works best for everyone is different.  Don't give up. Keep working at it and eventually your new healthy way of life will seem completely normal.


Bobbi Mullins

November 2014

References:  

(1) Bryant, C. Fitness As Pharmacy. Interview with Dr. Gregory Degnan. IDEA Fitness Journal, Volume 11, Number 10. October 2014  

Berge, J. A Review of Familial Correlates of Child and Adolescent Obesity: What has the 21st Century Taught us so Far? Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2009 Oct-Dec; 21(4): 457-483. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890027/ 

© Bobbi Mullins 2011, All rights reserved. FOOD FITNESS FAITH™