Monday, June 2, 2008

Cheap Exercise For Patients Is Just What The Doctor Ordered

"People who are overweight, at risk of diabetes, recovering from a stroke or suffering from depression are to be given ‘exercise prescriptions’. Instead of leaving GP surgeries and heading to the chemist, patients will instead be sent to the gym or swimming pool. NHS Lothian [Hospital in Scotland] is currently working on a partnership with Edinburgh Leisure, which will give people discounted access to sports facilities. It is part of a new drive by the health board to improve the fitness of people in the region. The board wants to help people control their weight before they require hospital treatment. It is also hoped it will help people's mental health as exercise is known to release endorphins that make people happier. Michael Pinkerton, spokesman for Edinburgh Leisure, said: ‘A lot of it is still at the proposal stage, but we are looking to work with NHS Lothian. The proposals include a cardiac rehabilitation scheme and a stroke rehabilitation scheme. We are also looking to introduce a weight management intervention scheme, and we will be targeting diabetes patients as physical inactivity is known to be one of the causes.’”

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