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It Turns Out Doctors Are Now Prescribing This Way More Than Medication

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Honestly, this story feels like a long time coming, but I'm still thrilled to report doctors are finally writing more and more prescriptions for exercise instead of medication.

One place, in particular, this is happening is Boston, Massachusetts where primary care physicians and psychologists alike are prescribing gym memberships for $10 a month to their patients.

Offering discounted gym memberships, as well as classes and care for children, will hopefully see a majority of patients utilize exercise over trips to pharmacies, according to Gibbs Saunders, an employee of Healthworks Community Fitness.

This program is also based on the fact that a majority of residents in Boston's Roxbury community alone struggle with high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and depression. The life expectancy in the neighborhood is nearly 20 years younger than the national average of 78.8 years.

Dr. Michelle Johnson, a leading proponent for exercise prescriptions in the Boston area, reportedly said,

Exercise is not a new medicine. It's really an old medicine. But you know, I think we're now coming to the point of understanding how important it is.

Monisha Long is proof this program works. She's been working out for two years to combat obesity and high blood pressure, and she reportedly said,

I lost well over 150 pounds, and I've been keeping it off for the past couple of years. I'm more energized. As far as my energy, I feel like I'm stronger. I feel like I'm less tired. I feel like I can do almost anything now.

If that isn't a ringing endorsement for walking to the gym instead of the drug store, I don't know what is.

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Citations: More doctors are prescribing exercise instead of medication (Associated Press)