Exercise is medicine: but do people take it?

Health & Fitness | Di Jan Middelkamp

13 January 2015 0 Risposta

You as a fitness, health or sports professional know the statement: exercise is medicine! And most people in general understand this too. Nowadays there is an unlimited amount of proof that physical activity and exercise are beneficial for health. Despite of this, an important question is if people take the medicine regularly enough to gain the multiple health related benefits. 

You as a fitness, health or sports professional know the statement: exercise is medicine! And most people in general understand this too. Nowadays there is an unlimited amount of proof that physical activity and exercise are beneficial for health. Despite of this, an important question is if people take the medicine regularly enough to gain the multiple health related benefits. 

Research shows that 50% of all people drop out of an exercise program within the first six months. Other studies show that Europeans are not physically active enough for health. From this perspective, behaviour change and motivation become crucial topics. It is necessary to help people to stick to the exercise prescription. 

But it’s not only about exercise. Motivation and behavioural change are also main topics within nutrition and lifestyle in general. Professionals like personal trainers often train clients within an exercise programme. For example two times a week, one hour per session. But many professionals also realize that the two hours a week can only have a marginal impact on a client’s health. The other 166 hours have a bigger impact. 

Forever this reason most professionals have a broader scope on health behaviours promoting physical activity programmes, nutritional programmes and lifestyle programmes in general. This seems logical when observing the five main health factors. 

 

The left column lists five important predictors of death by heart disease. When you look at the relative risk (third column), you'll see that a low fitness level scores highest. Two factors determine this score; the severity of the disease and the extent to which the disease occurs. Especially the last point plays a major role. There are more people that do not exercise, or not enough, and therefore have a low fitness level,

than people who smoke. In itself smoking harms your health more, but because the amount of non-exercisers is larger, the relative risk of low fit is still higher than that of smoking.

To improve health by regular physical activity, fitness and sports, together with improved nutrition and lifestyle adaptation, people need to be coached in changing their behaviour into one of long-term adherence and healthy lifestyle. 

A new book on motivation and behavioural change will be presented at the European Health & Fitness Forum, April 8, 2015 at FIBO Cologne Germany. The main target group of the book are fitness, health & sports professionals (e.g. fitness instructors, personal trainers, nutritional experts, physiotherapists, etc.) who have an interest and need knowledge or tools to support behaviour change and motivation of their clients. The book will inspire professionals on level 4 and 5 of the European register of exercise professionals

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