The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



From educational tools and events to promotional programs and public policy initiatives, IHRSA brings you success... by association!

Join | Renew
Pledge Your Support

Search IHRSA Blog

Welcome to the IHRSA Blog

The Online Home of news.

Blog Home |  Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Entries in exercise prescription (2)


Prescription for Better Health: Filling Exercise Prescriptions in Your Club

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Or at least, it used to. Today, many people around the world need more than a few servings of fruit to maintain a clean bill of health.

Physical activity is a key component of overall well-being and can be increased through lifestyle changes, such as joining and attending a health club. Your health club has the potential to be a critical resource for getting deconditioned, sick, and inactive individuals healthy. Health clubs provide a safe and supportive environment for pursuing healthy lifestyle change such as increasing physical activity.

One key to becoming a resource is developing successful relationships with medical professionals—doctors, physical therapists, and dietitians—in your area, so that they confidently refer patients to your club or fitness professionals.

Doctors have significant power to influence the behavior of their patients; when they say, “exercise,” patients get moving.

Physicians and other professionals want to send their patients to a place that is safe, clean, un-intimidating, and well-staffed facility in which they are most likely to succeed. The August edition of the “12 Months of Health Promotion” e-book provides best practice tips and resources that will help you get started implementing successful medical wellness programs in your club. 

This month’s resources include:  

  • 7 Best Practices for Medical Wellness
  • Medical Wellness Toolkit
  • Physician Outreach Toolkit
  • Relevant articles and blog posts to read and share 

New Call-to-action


Physically Active Doctors More Likely to Counsel Patients to Be Physically Active

Doctors who are physically active are more likely to counsel their patients to be physically active, according to new research conducted by the IHRSA Foundation and the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, collected survey responses from 412 sports medicine physicians. Of the doctors surveyed, 74% regularly recommended physical activity, 66% talked about exercise with patients, and 49% included it as a vital sign; only 26% provided a written exercise prescription.  

And when doctors do counsel their patients, they tend to recommend activities that are familiar to them; walking, followed by aerobic activity, strength training, and cycling were the most recommended forms of physical activity. Doctors cited time constraints and limited tools as the greatest challenges to counseling their patients on physical activity.

So what does this mean for clubs?
  1. Doctors recommend what they know. Invite doctors into your club so that they can experience all the different types of exercise programming that you have to offer.
  2. Doctors are short on resources. Develop ready-to-use informational materials on physical activity and exercise programming that doctors can share with their patients, or use materials IHRSA has already developed for you.
  3. Doctors are short on time. Offer your club and your staff as a resource for them.