Physicians Prescribe Exercise, Personal Trainers Stand Ready

Because nearly two thirds of Americans – over 131 million people - are inactive and overweight, many severely obese, physicians are being asked to write prescriptions for exercise. The fitness profession is uniting to help them, reports the National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE).

Santa Barbara, Ca (PRWEB) February 24, 2004 –- Personal trainers and health clubs will see a dramatic increase in referrals coming from medical doctors over the next decade, announced the National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE). Because nearly two thirds of Americans – over 131 million people - are inactive and overweight, and many more are severely obese, physicians are being asked to write prescriptions for exercise, and the fitness profession is uniting to help them.

According to a recent report published in the archives of Internal Medicine, Dr. JoAnn Manson the Chief of Preventive Medicine at Harvard’s Bringham and Women’s Hospital said, “We’re treating the symptoms of the diseases rather than the root cause.” Because inactivity and obesity are responsible for at least 300,000 premature deaths and over $90 billion in health care costs each year, this new “call to action” to write prescriptions for exercise can help change patients’ ways the report says.

While doctors will start writing prescriptions for exercise, the fitness profession is preparing to help. Properly trained personal trainers are experts in this area. Weight training, aerobic conditioning, flexibility, and a sensible diet are the keys to preventing and even reversing many chronic diseases – what fitness professionals have been teaching for years. Until now, there have been no standards in the fitness profession and as a result few physicians refer to personal trainers.

Because over 200 certification companies offer education to personal trainers, it is difficult for the medical community to know who is providing the right advice. In response to the lack of regulations and standards, in 2003 the National Board of Fitness Examiners was commissioned to do just that; demonstrate to the public and the medical community that all Board certified fitness professionals undergo unbiased, criteria-referenced, nationally approved examinations that ensures standardized levels of competency. Successful completion of the National Boards not only assures competency, but will eventually lead to licensing, a process recognized by the medical community.

“Because this model to determine individual competency has been used successfully by physicians since 1915, the National Board wants to assure the public and the doctors that they can confidently refer patients to Board Certified fitness professionals,” said Dr. Sal Arria, Executive Director of the National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE).

“Unfortunately, our country is in the worst shape ever, so we applaud physicians for taking a positive stance towards prescribing exercise ... the health and quality of life for literally millions of people rests in their hands. Exercise has been proven as the most powerful disease prevention tool of all,” said Dr. Arria. “And best of all, the side effect of prescribing weight training, aerobic conditioning, flexibility and sensible nutrition is not only that patients will live longer, but the quality of their lives will be dramatically improved," Dr. Arria stated.

National Board Certified personal trainers and health clubs are in a perfect position to help physicians address the 80% of Americans who don’t use trainers or go to gyms. "As more and more physicians start writing prescriptions for exercise, the fitness industry can expect explosive growth over the next five to ten years,” Dr. Arria finished.

About NBFE: The National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE) is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2003 to ensure to the public that qualified fitness professionals who have successfully passed the National Board examinations have achieved an approved level of competency in the health and fitness industry.

To schedule an interview, please email: info@nbfe.org

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