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IHRSA Advocate

The IHRSA Advocate is your guide to knowing and understanding the policies that influence daily health club operations. We analyze the action, so you know when to take your own.

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Entries in exercise is medicine (15)


Exercise is "Wonder Drug" for Cancer  

Results of a new UK study suggest that exercise should be the new prescription (versus rest and “taking it easy”) for cancer patients, going so far as calling exercise a “wonder drug.”

The report, "Move More," by Macmillan Cancer Support, said breast cancer patients' danger of the disease recurring could be decreased by 40% if they performed the recommended daily levels of physical exercise. The report added that bowel cancer survivors could reduce their risk by half, and prostate cancer patients by a third, if they exercised regularly. According to Medical News Today online, Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said, “patients would be ‘shocked’ if they knew how much physical activity could help their recovery and long term health.” Read more about the study’s findings here.


IHRSA to Congress: "Prevention is Critical"

In an effort to keep up the drumbeat of prevention in Congress, IHRSA has sent a joint letter to both Senate and House leadership asking them to keep in mind the economic and health benefits of healthy lifestyles as they go forward with discussions on health care reform.

“Preventing chronic disease forthright is the sure-fire way to bring down the long-term cost of health care,” says IHRSA President and CEO, Joe Moore, discussing the letter in a blog post featured on, a leading DC publication, widely read by lawmakers and political figures.

In addition to keeping the focus on prevention solutions, IHRSA has also taken steps to create a stronger coalition of voices in support of prevention. Several organizations co-signed the letter, including the American College of Preventative Medicine, the American College of Preventative Medicine, the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the Exercise is Medicine Global Initiative and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

To read the full letter.


IHRSA Walks for a Healthy Fit Nation

IHRSA members and staff pounded the pavement in Boston alongside U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, to promote the medical benefits of exercise. The Walk for a Healthy and Fit Nation is part of the Surgeon General’s national effort to combat obesity and reduce chronic disease by getting doctors to prescribe more exercise.

Click to read more ...


Commentary: Time for Doctors to Prescribe Exercise

IHRSA's Joe Moore and Dr. Eddie Phillips Encourage D.C. to Practice Exercise as Medicine
IHRSA President and CEO, Joe Moore, along with Dr. Edward M. Phillips, MD, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, and founder of the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, co-authored an editorial featured in McClatchy News Washington Bureau, promoting exercise as preventative medicine.

"Yet, while doctors continue to write more than 3.4 billion prescriptions each year and mention medications during more than 70 percent of their office visits, the vast majority of physicians are neither prescribing nor talking to their patients about the real wonder drug — exercise."

Read the full article, here.


Medicare Implements Wellness Changes

For health clubs working with local physicians, the new Medicare rules could mean an increase in referrals of obese, older adults. “There are an increasing number of clubs in the industry creating specialized programs for this population,” says Helen Durkin, executive vice president of IHRSA Public Policy. “For these clubs, the Medicare changes means more potential members coming in their doors because more doctors will be counseling and referring their patients on sustainable weight loss behaviors, including exercise.”

Click to read more ...

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