Exercise is Medicine®

Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) encourages physicians and other healthcare providers to integrate exercise and physical activity into their recommended patient treatments plans. EIM, a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine, is committed to the belief that physical activity is key to preventing and treating many medical conditions.

“Tampa General Hospital is the first health system in the region to systematically prescribe exercise and healthy foods as medicine, which is a significant step in improving our community’s health and curing chronic disease.”

– Tampa Mayor Jane Castor

Prescribing physical activity in the right “dosage” is a highly effective prescription for the prevention, treatment and management of more than 40 of the most common chronic health conditions. EIM encourages health care providers, particularly those in primary care, to assess and record physical activity as a vital sign during patient visits and to conclude each visit with an exercise "prescription" and/or referral to a certified health fitness professional or allied health professional for further counseling and support.

Key Benefits of Exercise is Medicine®

  • Lowers healthcare costs for patients
  • Lowers healthcare costs for healthcare systems
  • Provides resources to patients to help them reach their health goals
  • Provides resources to healthcare providers and exercise professionals

Activating Wellness Trails

As part of the EIM initiative, TampaWell is committed to providing resources and facilities for residents to engage in physical activity. We are fortunate that our region is home to beautiful parks and outdoor spaces that offer a safe and appealing alternative to the traditional gym. There are miles and miles of trails that draw walkers, runners and visitors on wheels. As partners in TampaWell, TGH and the City of Tampa will work to enhance these green spaces with fitness information and activities, including interactive kiosks. These outdoor fitness parks are central to the TampaWell mission because they are free to users, they encourage people to work out together, and they’re available nearly any time of day.

How Does Physical Activity Benefit Our Community?

Many residents in the Tampa Bay area face barriers when it comes to accessing resources for proper exercise and nutrition. Regular physical activity improves health and reduces the risk of illness and chronic conditions. In the United States:

  • 29% of adults don’t exercise or move enough
  • 37.3% of adults are overweight
  • 26.7% of adults are obese
  • 28% of children over 2 years are overweight or obese

Physical exercise is critical to the healthy development of children, and it supports physical and mental health in adults. Keeping communities healthy increases life expectancy and reduces healthcare costs for individuals and local governments.