It is not uncommon for my patients to walk out with a small paper square with an exercise prescription on it.

For many it reads “30 minutes of walking, 3 times a week.” For some the exercise varies – those with sore joints may get cycling or swimming instead. Or patients who run who have fallen off the bandwagon may get a run prescribed.

Exercise is medicine and prescribing it can be helpful for many conditions!

In type 2 diabetes regular physical activity can help with glycaemic control.

In depression and anxiety regular exercise has been shown to improve symptoms. An hour a week of exercise has also been shown to be preventative for depression.

For patients with high blood pressure regular physical activity can help improve blood pressure control.

Exercise is a wonderful way to manage weight – to prevent being overweight or obese. For those who are in the higher BMI range exercise is a great way to aim for some healthy weight loss, along with diet changes.

Exercise is a part of the treatment plan for any patient with polycystic ovarian syndrome, along with reviewing the diet ensuring high fruit and vegetable intake.

Exercise is great for stress management – many patients walk out with a prescribed walk when they have life/family/work stressors weighing them down.

Exercise is powerful stuff and whilst there are lots of scripts, we can write for lots of medications – a walk/run/cycle or swim just might be the best script I can write you! And writing the script makes patients much more motivated and likely to implement the suggestions – I know because patients have told me (and studies have also suggested that this is the case!).


Dr Alexander

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