Is exercise as lifestyle measure for better health outcome to patients is adequately and appropriately prescribed ?

Syed Raza MD, MRCP (UK), FRCP (Edin) CCT (UK), Dip.Card (UK),FACC(USA), FCCP, FESC,PG Med.Edu (Wales), Consultant Cardiologist and Physician, Aweil Hospital, Bahrain

Medications and drugs have been infamous for their side effects than they are known for their benefits.Patients and members of public alwayshave a doubt or fear in their mind for everynew medication they are started on. The usual conversation withthe doctorthat is initiated by a patient goes somethinglike this: ‘’ Doctor, but what are the side effects of medications that you have just prescribed? ‘’ or ‘’ Ihave heard and read on Google that this medication has side effects’’ even before the poordoctor can explainthe benefits or the good effects of a treatment or a medication. Nevertheless, some still do have sufficient faith andconfidence in some good prescription writing when it comes fromhealthcare professionals they can trust.
Safety, like inhealthcare is also paramount in SportsMedicine andany physical training. Unfortunately, this is not very well recognized on a wider spectrum. Injuries, serious harm as wellas death have beenobserved during sporting events as well as physical training. In therecent yearsgymnasium and physical training centers have mushroomed in most towns and cities, big or small. Some of these centers do have strict regulations whenit comes to health safety. However, by and large this is generally lacking in most other similarfacilities. There arefacilities that are functioning withoutsomeone physically available for supervisionor guidance. This is just not a deficiency but a major health riskof which many are not aware of. Injuries, serious harm including death as mentioned above can happen suddenly without much warning.
I would like to highlight some of problems that areassociated as below
1. There is no basic health screeningor even using medicalquestionnaire at the least
2. There is no supervision or presence of a qualified trainer
3. Some trainers do not ask participants’ physical limitations or disabilities.
Some individuals tend to overdo things particularly ina group training. The group would generally be a mix of participants
of different age group, some with different medical morbidities, varying physical and functional capacity.This is unfortunatelynot
wellrecognized and addressed by the trainer.
4. Participants may be doing the wrong kind of exercise. For example, a person with a big belly and abdominal fat may be busy inlifting
weights alonerather than engaging incalorie or fat burning exercises.
5. Excessive jumping during group exercises may not besuitable for those withbad knees or hips.
6. Floor exercises may lead to fainting or severe dizziness inindividuals who are easily dehydrated or those who are onblood pressure
medications and diuretics.
7. Some exercises not done correctly under close supervision is likely to cause serious injuries into back and neck.
8. People who carry excessive body weightor are obese are once again likelyto cause injury to their knee or hip joints if they engage injogging or running even before they shed those extra pounds off.
9. Duration of exercise should be such that it meets the objectives or fulfills the needs of physical training.Too little provides no health benefit while toomuch can have deleterious effects on health.
Therefore,like we take medications onprescription which guides us onthe right medication that is indicated, right dose,right route of intake, right duration, timings oftheir intake as well the likely side effects are well explained, exercise should be treated similarly.
It should be made clear as to what the objectives of exercise are. What exactly the givenperson is lookingfor or aiming for to achieve whist doing certain exercises. In addition, he or she shouldknow the suitable exercises and the equipment that may be deemed safe and appropriate for him or her. One should also know one’s own limitationsas well as the potential risks and harms of an exercise.Close supervisionfor beginners as wellas those withhealth condition is crucial.
One should thereforehave a balanced approach while initiatingany exercise program, keeping in mind the safety aspects. It must also be ensured that they benefit the most from exercises that are suitable for their age, body type, functional status as well personal goals. Therefore, it goes without saying that EXERCISE SHOULD BE TAKEN ON A PRESCRIPTION.