Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) is a fairly new certification that health and fitness professionals can get. The program is a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). It encourages healthcare providers to use exercise and physical activity in treatment plans for patients to treat and prevent non-communicable diseases like heart disease and diabetes. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity should be regularly assessed and “treated” as part of all healthcare.

I am Exercise Is Medicine Certified. I believe in this message. I believe that we need a change in our healthcare system. We need Health care, not sick care. We need more truth and less prescription drugs. This is a movement, and I need your help.


Providers are being urged to do three things. If you do not see your providers doing this, maybe you should teach them about neglect and send them to this post.

  • Do a physical activity assessment on EVERY VISIT. It is called an “Exercise Vital Sign”. Doctors should ask how many days a week and for how many minutes each day a patient is exercising or getting physical activity.
  • Write an appropriate physical activity prescription based on the patient’s needs. This is particularly important for participants who have diagnosis or pre-conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Refer out to a professional. Here is where I come in. We have to understand that doctors do not have the time or the exercise expertise to counsel on exercise specifics for every patient. Referring out to professionals in the field is a crucial step in exercise compliance long term. Exercise professionals will only need a dedicated space to teach exercise compliance, similar to the way that dietitians have conversations about nutrition in an office settings instead of sitting in a kitchen watching a patient while they cook.

I need your help! Based on this information, I challenge you to think about swapping out popular pharmaceutical medications for exercise. Really think about what the outcomes might look like. What would the effects be on our health, our spending and our communities?


Jump over to this link and watch this brief videand be using exercise as a medication. Afterward, brainstorm with me and be a part of the solution!

Help Me Answer These Questions:

  • Is it an education issue?Is it a market monopoly issue with big pharma infiltration in research design? Is it a communication issue? What is going on here?
  • Why do providers continue to prescribe pharmaceuticals instead of exercise?
  • Why do patients continue to take prescription medications that only manage their condition instead of reverse it?
  • Why are compliance outcomes higher in prescription medication use than in therapeutic lifestyle change like diet and exercise?
  • What can we do to change this issue? Whether you are a provider, a patient or a third party, what are some solutions you want to see in our healthcare system?
  • What do you think about the “Exercise Vital Sign” idea?

Resources to Improve Exercise is Medicine Applications in our Healthcare System

1. For Exercise Professionals

  • Familiarize yourself with this movement by viewing the Exercise Is Medicine “Global Health Initiative Public Presentation” power point notes HERE
  • Read through the Health and Fitness Professionals Action Guide HERE
  • Check out the printable resources on the Exercise Is Medicine website HERE
  • DIETITIANS- check out this tool kit especially for you HERE

2. For Clinicians and Clinical settings

  • Research Results for using the Exercise Vital Sign HERE
  • Read through the Exercise Is Medicine Provider Action Guide HERE
  • Check the website for flyers and promotional information to use in your clinics HERE

3. For Patients and the Public

  • Exercise Is Medicine Public Action Guide; This is a lengthy and cohesive document that reviews the ideas and practical applications of exercise used as medicine to treat and prevent diseases. Check out the PDF HERE
  • Check out the website for Community Involvement HERE