Dr. Marina Abdel Malak, MD, CCFP, BSc.N,

is a Family Physician in Mississauga, Ontario. She has served on several committees and groups, including The Primary Care Network and Collaborative Mental Health Network. She has a passion for medical education, patient empowerment, and increasing awareness about the relationship between mental, emotional, and physical health. Dr. Abdel Malak is highly involved in quality improvement initiatives, and her research interests include strategies to support physician wellness, patient self-management, and optimizing physician education.


Abstract: The benefits of physical activity are far reaching, ranging from cancer prevention to disease treatment. However, there may be confusion among healthcare providers how to recommend physical activity to their patients: how long, what activities, and how to do so. This article briefly reviews the benefits of exercise, and details strategies physicians can use to encourage their patients to be physically active.
Key Words: Exercise, physical activity, prescription, patient education, health promotion, lifestyle.

Members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada may claim MAINPRO-M2 Credits for this unaccredited educational program.

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1) Physicians are in an optimal position to counsel their patients about physical activity
2) Guidelines for activity varies among individuals by age, and should be tailored to each patient
3) Exercise prescriptions can be used in practice to motivate and counsel patients on physical activity
Encouraging patients to become physically active is a core role of the physician.
Prescribing exercise significantly increases patients' motivation and integration of physical activity into their daily routines.
Exercise recommendations vary, but the general rule of 150 minutes a week is widely quoted.
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