A Letter to My Patients....
We asked three different physicians to write a letter to their patients about the benefits of exercise. Here is what they sent us.
It’s no secret that regular exercise boosts your chances to lead a healthier overall life, but it’s not too late to get started if you haven’t already. This even goes for you all who are entering your retirement years. It has been shown that exercising at least once per week greatly improves your chances of aging healthfully if you are older, and even if you are new to it. Here are some of the benefits of exercise in your later years:
- lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- improved blood sugar control, which prevents diabetes or helps diabetic control
- improved balance, which leads to less falls and injury
- lower blood pressure
- improved bone density, which prevents broken bones
- improved digestive function
- lower risk of heart disease
- lower risk of colon cancer
Don’t let the fact that you’re getting older and don’t exercise regularly keep you from getting started. You can still reap the tremendous benefits of being active; so there’s no better time to start than now!
RM is an 82 year old man that I see regularly. He is easily my most complex patient: diabetes, heart disease, severe arthritis, kidney disease, the works. He has a lot of chronic medications as long as my arm, several of which cause side effects that only complicate matters. He spends hours every week in specialists’ offices waiting for them to tell him what else is wrong with his health. Needless to say, he slipped into despair a couple years ago. I shared his frustration. What can you do to improve your health when you feel completely handicapped by illness? I asked RM to try exercising through a program called p.r.e.p. At the end of his 60-day program, we were both amazed by his improved strength and balance. I was most impressed by his improved outlook. For the first time in a long time, he was focusing on what he CAN do instead of what he can’t, on health instead of disease. Despite his myriad problems, he felt stronger and more optimistic about his health in just 2 months.
I tell you, it’s NEVER too late to start exercising!
It’s not exactly headline news that exercise is good for you, but the benefits just keep adding up. More and more research has been pouring in over the last few years about the preventive and life-improving advantages of staying (or becoming) active and moving our bodies on a regular basis.
- Prevention of the number 1 killer in the country – HEART DISEASE
- Prevention of the contributing factor to many deaths from varied causes – DIABETES
- Prevention and resolution of – OBESITY – which in women increases the risk of breast and uterine cancers
- Very likely reduction in rates of – DEMENTIA/ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE which begin 20-30 years prior to observed disease
- Non-drug improvement in mild to moderate – DEPRESSION – especially when done outdoors
- Improved overall sense of well-being, improved concentration, productivity and even quality of relationships
With an exercise program like p.r.e.p., we have been able to “prescribe” exercise for patients just as we would a medication. The combination of a new commitment and competent, friendly and non-judgmental staff to help implement a plan, along with a registered nurse to oversee progress is a great benefit to patients learning to exercise.
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