There was an article in today's New York Times by Jane Brody discussing why promoting exercise up until now has been, for the most part, unsuccessful. It makes sense really, in the hurry-up, today-is-already-too-late world that many of us live in, trying to promote the future value of exercise is a losing battle. Many times I've told people that increasing their activity levels would help reduce weight, improve cardiac and pulmonary functions, and/or help them maintain independence. I'm willing to bet that most of the people who I've used this approach with have stopped their routines, if they ever really started them at all.
When I work with specific goals like, "I want to dance at my grandson's wedding" or "I want to fit into my dress for my 30th reunion," I do get people to take action and meet their goal. What about after the wedding or the reunion though? I must confess, my own workout routine has become very "routine" and could use a kick-start. If I'm having trouble motivating myself, how am I ever going to motivate someone else?
Public health is well aware of the obesity epidemic facing not just the United States, but most developed nations. The cost of this epidemic in terms of future cardiac, diabetic, pulmonary and arthritic presentations will be astounding. As PTs, we are placed in a unique position to take immediate actions to stem this epidemic. If most of the interventions have failed so far, what new and innovative ways can we use to get the message home? What do you think of the suggestions given by Jane Brody?