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June 3, 2010

Surgeon General visits Baltimore, touts exercise

Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin came to Baltimore Wednesday to throw her support behind an new exercise initiative called Exercise is Medcine.

The public should begin to hear more about the program, sponsored by the American College of Sports Medicine. It aims to get all health care providers on board with assessing patients' level of exercise and making recommendations.

The idea -- proven in study after study -- is that exercise is good preventative medicine. And with level of heart disease and diabetes rising in adults and, alarmingly, in children, something needs to be done on the front end, Benjamin told a meeting of sport medicine professionals.

Since 1980, the number of obese adults has doubled and the number of obese children has tripled, she said. The numbers are worse among some groups, such as African Americans.

She said families, communities and professionals have to find ways to make exercise fun again, rather than work. There needs to be a commitment for more parks, trails, pools and other places around the country (a tall order considering Baltimore's, and the nation's, financial crisis.)

"Kids used to play outside because it was fun," she said. "We used to the disco because dancing was fun. Not because someone said we needed 30 minutes of exercise a day."

Benjamin, who was joined by John Colmers, secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, then took a stroll through the Inner Harbor to illustrate how easy exercise can be. It was a Code Orange, or highly unhealthy air day, but still.

So, do you get 30 minutes a day, five days a week? Ideas on making it fun?

Posted by Meredith Cohn at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Diet and exercise
        

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About Picture of Health
Meredith CohnMeredith Cohn has been a reporter since 1991, covering everything from politics and airlines to the environment and medicine. A runner since junior high and a particular eater for almost as long, she tries to keep up on health and fitness trends. Her aim is to bring you the latest news and information from the local and national medical and wellness communities.

Andrea K. WalkerAndrea K. Walker knows it’s weird to some people, but she has a fascination with fitness, diseases, medicine and other health-related topics. She subscribes to a variety of health and fitness magazines and becomes easily engrossed in the latest research in health and science. An exercise fanatic, she’s probably tried just about every fitness activity there is. Her favorites are running, yoga and kickboxing. So it is probably fitting that she has been assigned to cover the business of healthcare and to become a regular contributor to this blog. Andrea has been at The Sun for nearly 10 years, covering manufacturing, retail , airlines and small and minority business. She looks forward to telling readers about the latest health news.
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