In response to Dr. Brian Goldman’s article, dated March 14, 2016, How to exercise for good health
Dr. Brian Goldman,
Thank you for your recent article advocating for the integration of exercise, or at least regular physical activity, into the prescription for healthier living and chronic care management.
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP), in conjunction with Exercise is Medicine Canada (EIMC), has been advocating for the greater recognition of qualified exercise professionals such as CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologists® as an adjunct resource for healthcare, specifically for the reasons that you have touched on in your article. The aging population is in dire need of safe, effective incorporation of physical activity into their daily routine and in some cases, a guided exercise plan; unfortunately, many in the primary health community face a number of barriers to providing physical activity counseling and exercise prescription e.g., knowledge, time.
The comments of your readers echo these sentiments; older men and women, suffering from years or in some cases, decades of pain from illness or injury are challenged to become more active – despite knowing that they should. Data from Statistics Canada shows that at least 4 out of 5 Canadians are not sufficiently active to achieve health benefits. Patients at risk for or suffering symptoms of chronic disease are especially vulnerable and would benefit from professional guidance.
CSEP, through its national advocacy of the concept “Exercise is Medicine” is working hard to bridge this gap. By connecting the health care team with qualified exercise professionals, we have seen, and continue to see great strides in how referrals to safe exercise may be effectively prescribed by healthcare practitioners to their patients. However, there is much work to be done. We applaud articles such as yours and are confident they will continue to shed more light on the role that the qualified exercise professional plays in changing behaviour and achieving sustainable results for Canadians.
I invite you to review the material found on our website, csep.ca including the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for children under 18 years, the CSEP gold standard professional Certification Program, and flagship Exercise is Medicine Canada (EIMC) initiative, for more information on how the CSEP is playing a leading role in improving health outcomes for Canadians. Should you wish to discuss any of our material, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Philip D. Chilibeck, PhD
Chair, CSEP Board of Directors