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Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Swimming Is Medicine
Dr. Sallis, a practicing physician from California, gave the closing keynote lecture on the topic of Exercise is Medicine; Realizing the Health Benefits of Exercise.
One key recommendation of Dr. Sallis' message was specific, "...sports medicine professionals need to lead the charge in promoting the health benefits of physical activity, to remind all healthcare professionals around the world that Exercise IS Medicine and they should prescribe it."
Exercise is Medicine®, a joint initiative of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association, aims to make physical activity and exercise a standard part of a global disease prevention and treatment medical paradigm. And the paradigm is catching on from shore to shore in the United States.
On the east coast, innovative physicians like Dr. Jim Miller, an open water swimmer from Virginia and a member of the FINA Sports Medicine Committee, understands the benefits of exercise for his patient population that is increasingly overweight and diabetic. He routinely prescribes a fitness program at a local sports center to his patients instead of merely prescribing more medications. He considers his patients' physical activities as a vital parameter to consider on every patient visit and provides information and opportunities for his patients to begin exercise programs, leading to their overall health improvement.
"I routinely discuss exercise with over 50% of my patients."
On the west coast, visionary health care providers such a Memorial Care Hospital in Long Beach, California are incorporating a pool and open water swimming program for its employees of all ages and abilities. While land-based programs focusing on walking, jogging, weight-training, yoga and other fitness activities have been at the core of corporate fitness programs, swimming as an adult fitness program is just taking off across the United States.
"Swimming Wellness or the Swimming is Medicine program is a combination of regular pool swimming sessions, POW (Pool Open Water) meets, and open water swimming for employees and their families. While there are many learn-to-swim programs for children, adults rarely have a structured swimming opportunities offered by their employers that is convenient to their working schedule," explains Steven Munatones. "Swimming is Medicine is one step in this direction."
It is one step in a lifestyle change for the better.
"Lifestyle Medicine is the leading edge training for the future of outcomes based healthcare," said Marc Braman, MD/MPH, Executive Director and Past President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. "Lifestyle Medicine is the use of lifestyle interventions such as nutrition, exercise, stress management, smoking cessation and a variety of other non-drug modalities in the treatment and management of disease. A growing body of scientific evidence has demonstrated that lifestyle medicine should be the foundation of treatment for chronic disease. It can be as effective as medication, but without the risks and unwanted side-effects."
And as many swimmers realize, swimming is a form of preventative medicine with many positive side-effects.
Photo of Dr. Jim Miller by Skip Storch at the 2011 Global Open Water Swimming Conference at Columbia University.
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
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The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.