Believe it or not, doctors say when it comes to improving your health, exercise can be just as effective as medication. “The American College of Sports Medicine actually has an initiative where they are encouraging physicians to treat exercise as a form of medication,” said Dr. Andre Anderson, a family medicine physician with Lee Health.
When helping patients develop an exercise routine, family medicine Dr. Andre Anderson uses the acronym FITT, which stands for frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise. “If somebody has a lot of back pain, a lot of hip pain, then maybe walking and jogging are not really their thing. Maybe more exercises in the pool, aquatic therapy which is a great cardiovascular workout,” he said.
National recommendations are 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a week and then two days a week of resistance training. “There is strong evidence that it can prolong your life expectancy, decrease cardiovascular disease, improve your blood sugars,” Dr. Anderson said.
In addition to lowering your blood sugar and cholesterol, regular exercise can also help patients cut back or stop certain medications. “Even though you’re diabetic, potentially we could get you off of these medications if we lose a little bit of weight and really push for exercise,” he said.
Incorporating a more active lifestyle can also lower your risk for certain cancers, including colon, breast even lung cancer. Making it important to make exercise part of your daily medication.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.