MOVE IT! 'Prescribing Exercise' in Healthcare


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.

You can take quizzes without subscribing; however, your results will not be stored. Subscribers will have access to their quiz results for future reference.

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.
To have access to full article that these tools were developed for, please subscribe. The cost to subscribe is $80 USD per year and you will gain full access to all the premium content on, an educational portal, that hosts 1000s of clinical reviews, case studies, educational visual aids and more as well as within the mobile app.
Disclaimer at the end of each page

Who are You Going to Call?

Who are You Going to Call?


Eleanor Brownridge

Who does a patient call when wondering why a drug is not working, when concerned about an adverse reaction to a drug, or when hearing on the radio that green vegetables interfere with Coumadin?

Faced with absorbing so much verbal advice about their disease, diet, and life-style changes, it is no wonder that so many patients experience information overload. Once home and starting on a treatment, new questions arise.

Thirteen years of experience by the Medication Information Line for the Elderly (MILE) in Manitoba suggests that many older people are reluctant to call their physician with a drug-related concern for fear of being an economic burden to the healthcare system or just appearing foolish. They do not consult their regular pharmacist either because it did not occur to them that the pharmacist could provide such information, or because they thought the pharmacist was too busy.

Ruby Grymonpré, PharmD, associate professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Manitoba started MILE in January 1985, to fill a drug information gap for elderly consumers in Manitoba, many of whom are housebound or living in isolated rural areas. Funding for the annual $85,000 budget has come from Manitoba Health, University of Manitoba and individual drug manufacturers. Available weekdays from 9 am to 3 pm, MILE pharmacists log an average of 200 calls a month.