Monday, July 28, 2014

"The Exercise Cure"

Everyone knows that exercise is good for your health. It’s good for your physical health. It’s good for your mental health. It’s one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself.

And yet, it requires work. In a culture that has taught people that there’s a pill for everything, exercise is often shunted off to the side, an activity for those who are less cerebral and thus less intelligent.

And, physicians do not profit directly when their patients exercise. You might say that fitness centers do and that Nike does, but the medical profession has very little vested financial interest in exercise.

Worse yet, exercise competes with treatments that earn more for doctors.

Everyone knows about exercise, but the message does not seem to have a privileged messenger. Perhaps, Dr. Jordan Metzl will be that messenger. As both a practicing physician—specializing in sports medicine—and a trainer, Metzl treats patients and teaches exercise classes.

Dr. Metzl’s specialty is treating injuries without surgery. His favorite medicine, he says, is exercise: It is one he takes often and prescribes to all of his patients. He’s completed over 40 marathons and Ironman competitions, and his goal is to do at least one Ironman every year.

Hopefully, Metzl’s training regimen does not make those who prefer a few hours on the treadmill feel inadequate.

In the course of his Times interview Metzl discusses his book, The Exercise Cure:

It takes what I believe in personally and puts it in a scientific approach, namely that exercise is medicine. I want people to learn how they can take exercise for their problems, whether its memory issues, depression, anxiety, heart disease or high cholesterol. How do you use exercise as a first line drug, and how do you talk to your physician about that? Those are things I want people to learn.

It’s a lot better than touting the transformative power of Prozac, don’t you think.


Anonymous said...

Nothing happens until somebody sells something.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the wonders of diversity.