Do You Have an Exercise Prescription?Old man lifting dumbbells

Exercise prescriptions are becoming more popular in general health care and sports medicine. They are a simple way to help people improve their overall health.

Dr. George and Dr. Ioannis Liras are brothers in Corpus Christi who are both doctors and work with athletes. They emphasize how important exercise is to maintaining health.

"Exercise prescriptions aren't just random workout plans. They're based on science," Dr. Ioannis Liras said.

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The Science Behind Exercise Prescriptions

Doing regular physical activity helps your heart, strengthens your muscles and bones, makes you feel good mentally, and lowers the risk of getting chronic diseases. Doctors use exercise prescriptions to help their patients obtain these benefits.

Doctors understand how exercise helps the body and mind, and they use this knowledge to help their patients take control of their health.

Personalized Exercise Prescriptions

One of the best things about exercise prescriptions is that they can be personalized.

Dr. George Liras said each patient is different. They have different needs, goals, and health conditions. So, doctors create exercise prescriptions that are just right for each patient.

Doctors evaluate what each patient can do, set achievable goals, and create exercise plans that fit into their daily lives. This ensures patients can safely and effectively add exercise to their daily routines.

Preventive Care

Exercise prescriptions also help prevent diseases. Regular physical activity can lower the chance of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Exercise helps your heart, helps control your weight, helps control your blood sugar levels, and strengthens your immune system, which benefits your long-term health.

Athletes and Exercise Prescriptions

In sports medicine, exercise prescriptions are important for helping athletes perform their best and avoid injuries.

Athletes and active people can benefit from exercise plans that help them build strength, endurance, agility, and flexibility. Doing the proper warm-up exercises, conditioning programs, and injury-specific rehab can help athletes do well in their sports and lower the risk of injury.

Exercise prescriptions in sports medicine help athletes perform their best and stay healthy.

Doctors Are Your Health Coach

The American College of Sports Medicine is a leading sports medicine and exercise science authority. They developed guidelines for exercise prescriptions to promote health and fitness.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that most adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly. This can be broken down into 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 days per week or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise 3 days per week.

In addition, they recommend adults do muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups 2 or more days per week.

The organization also emphasizes the importance of individualized exercise prescriptions, considering a person's fitness level, health status, age, and fitness goals. They stress that exercise prescriptions should be safe, effective, and enjoyable for the patient.

Primary care doctors and sports medicine providers can prescribe individual exercise prescriptions and act as health coaches.

Dr. Ioannis Liras talks about how important it is to teach patients the correct way to exercise, how to stay safe, and why it's important to stick with it.

With ongoing support and motivation, health care professionals play a big role in helping patients make lasting changes to their lifestyles and reach their goals.

There are many stories of patients who have changed their lives with the help of exercise prescriptions.

Dr. Ioannis Liras and his colleagues have seen how these personalized plans and the support from health care professionals have helped patients get healthier.

When doctors and patients work together, they create a partnership based on education, support, and motivation.

Why should older adults also consider being prescribed exercise?

It's always important for older adults to consult with a health care provider before starting a new exercise program to ensure it's safe and effective for their specific needs and conditions.

A physician can help you understand the best exercises for your condition while understanding the level of physical fitness you want to achieve.

  1. Improved Strength and Mobility: Patients may work with physical therapists to improve core strength, which can help overall mobility and physical function. This is especially important for older adults, as it can help them maintain independence and perform daily activities.
  2. Pain Management: Exercise can help manage pain, especially for arthritis. For patients who have joint pain, doctors may provide a prescription that includes strengthening and stretching the muscles near the joint to relieve the inflammation.
  3. Prevention of Further Health Issues: Regular exercise can help prevent the progression of chronic diseases and improve overall health. This is particularly important for older adults who may have a higher risk of multiple health conditions.
  4.  Holistic Approach to Health: The role of primary care sports medicine physicians involves a deep understanding of all the body's organ systems and how they work together. This holistic approach can help older adults manage their overall health and well-being, not just specific conditions.
  5. Improved Quality of Life:  The end goal of these exercise prescriptions is to improve the patient's quality of life. Regular exercise can contribute to this by improving physical function, reducing pain, and enhancing mental well-being.

The Importance of Follow-up and Adjustment in Exercise Prescriptions

Just as every individual is unique, so should their exercise prescription be. It's important to understand that an exercise prescription isn't a static, one-size-fits-all plan. Instead, it's a dynamic, evolving strategy that adapts to a person's changing needs, abilities, and goals.

During follow-up appointments, doctors will assess patients' progress toward their health and fitness goals. They'll ask about any difficulties the patient might be experiencing, such as physical discomfort during exercise or challenges in sticking to the routine. They'll also consider any changes in the patient's overall health status or lifestyle that might affect their exercise plan.

The doctor can adjust the exercise prescription as needed based on this information. For example, suppose a patient has improved their fitness level significantly. In that case, the doctor might increase the intensity or duration of their workouts to continue challenging and strengthening them. On the other hand, if a patient struggles with a high-intensity routine, the doctor might modify the plan to a more manageable level, ensuring it's still effective but not overwhelming.

This ongoing monitoring and adjustment process ensures that an exercise prescription remains tailored to the individual's needs, abilities, and goals.

Empowering Patients

In regular health care and sports medicine, exercise prescriptions help patients get healthier. By creating exercise plans that are just right for each patient, doctors help patients avoid chronic diseases, perform better in sports, and live healthier, happier lives. 

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