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Always Listen to Your Doctor (But Not About Exercise)

I’m not a conspiracy theorist and I believe in Western Medicine. I don’t think big pharma is the root of all evil (perhaps some). My best friend since middle school is a physician. My sister in law is a physician. I have immense respect and admiration for physicians. We should be heeding the advice of our physicians; but not when it comes to exercise. Why? Physicians simply don’t receive training in exercise. 
I was recently at a conference in which a faculty member at Harvard Medical School shared statistics on young physicians:
•      92% thought exercise prescription was the role of the physician.
•      28% felt comfortable prescribing exercise.
•      29% could calculate their own target heart rate.
•      4% prescribe exercise. 
Our physicians understand that exercise is important, however, they aren’t prescribing it because they simply don’t know anything about it. And I don’t blame them.  Only 12% of medical schools in the US have a single course on exercise. Yet, daily, exercise professionals hear statements like, “My doctor told me…” Frankly, I think doctors have enough to stay abreast on; I don’t blame them for lacking education and a foundation in exercise. 
Important Note: If your doctor has diagnosed you with a health condition that may make some types of exercise contraindicated, it’s important to heed that advice.  Best case scenario; have your doctor collaborate with a Certified Exercise Physiologist to help develop a safe exercise prescription.

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