Surgeon General visits Baltimore, touts exercise
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?