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March 2022

Get Moving with an Exercise Prescription

How active are you? Do you get your heart pumping each week … or get on the couch and chill out? Ask your healthcare provider for an exercise prescription to fit your unique health needs—it could be a script that transforms your life.

At your next visit, talk with your provider about your activity level.

Man on a stationary bike in living room

Here are 4 possible conversation starters.

1. “I’m no spring chicken, so I take it easy.”

Age is irrelevant. Being active is one of the most positive steps you can take to impact your health—and it’s never too late to start. The benefits of regular exercise include helping you become more flexible, independent, and energetic. It also reduces your risk for falls. Ask your provider about heart-pumping aerobics and strength training ideas.

2. “I have high blood pressure (or heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis), so I’m hesitant to exercise.”

Many chronic health conditions actually improve with exercise. For instance, routine activity can help you maintain a healthy blood pressure and control blood glucose levels. Talk with your healthcare provider about which specific activities are appropriate for you.

3. “I get some activity every now and then.”

Chances are, if you are generally in good health, your provider will recommend working up to a goal of 2.5 hours of moderate exercise every week. Those are government guidelines. But it’s up to you how you reach that goal. You might choose to exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes, or you can break it up into even smaller chunks of time throughout the week.

4. “I ride my bike every other day, so I’m all set in the exercise department.”

Keep up the good work! To further enhance your health, talk with your provider about adding weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, yoga, tennis, or strength training. These activities work against the force of gravity to build and maintain strong bones through the years.

 

 Need some suggestions for staying active? The American Council on Exercise has got you covered! Check out the exercise library. You can filter exercises by experience level, equipment, and body part.

Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ray Turley, MSN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2022
© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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