In mid-March 2017, my travels took me to Chicago to participate in the 3rd meeting of the Prescription for Activity (PFA) Task force. This task force is a group of about 30 national experts from healthcare, academia, business, philanthropy, and government who share a common belief that physical activity should be integral to healthcare. We certainly have ample evidence that physical activity is the single most important thing you can do to preserve and improve your health, so it is frustrating that so many American’s fail to meet the recommended amounts of exercise that have been proven to so positively affect health. For this reason, the task force has convened to find a way to make it happen.
This project has been supported by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and it has been exciting to be a part of it. Of course the concept fits perfectly with my passion around the idea that “Exercise is Medicine” that every physician should prescribe and every patient should take. And also the idea that walking is the single best formulation of this drug called exercise and should be the first line treatment to prevent and treat virtually every chronic disease. That is why I typically prescribe walking to every patient I see and I have found that my patients who walk 30 minutes a day look and feel better, and are less likely to suffer from chronic diseases that have really become the Plague of the 21st century.
With this in mind, the PFA task force has been using a model called “Theory of Change” to develop a “road map” designed to result in a change in the physical activity habits of all American’s. This “road map” lays out a 15-25 year plan for clinical and community integration of physical activity-based behavior change interventions for the prevention and treatment of disease. It includes the Task Force’s recommendations for cross-sector collaborative action to make physical activity-based behavior interventions integral to healthcare. And in the end we hope that we can mobilize the healthcare system to its full potential to help vastly more American’s meet the physical activity guidelines.
So it is a daunting task to say the least, but we have to start somewhere. And the goal of this blog has always been to support this mission by promoting walking as one of the best ways we can help get American’s more active. So thank you for reading and doing your part to support the walking movement all across America.
Keep walking my friends!