A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits can contribute to several conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and osteoporosis.
That’s why ACHIEVE is working with local healthcare practitioners to get the word out about ACHIEVE Wellness Prescriptions, a program designed to encourage local patients to try physical activity, healthy eating, and better lifestyle habits before resorting to medications for certain conditions.
“Many healthcare providers already observe this practice, encouraging their patients to try exercise and healthy diets before prescribing medication,” said ACHIEVE member Kristie Sanders. “Our project simply seeks to support that practice and to reinforce the physician’s advice with an actual prescription and suggestions for specific low- and no-cost options to achieve those goals.”
Local physician Dr. Cetin Hekimoglu was one of the first physicians to get on board with the program and began using the prescription pad provided by ACHIEVE to educate his patients about local options for physical activity and suggestions for nutritional goals.
“It seems to me patients see a big difference between a doctor’s orders and a doctor’s advice, so I think the wellness prescription program is a great way to get patients to take the non-medicine prescriptions seriously, instead of just as a suggestion,” said Dr. Hekimoglu. “I like that I can write out a ‘dosage’ for the exercise and nutritional recommendations, because sometimes that really is all a patient needs to reverse a health problem.”
The prescription pad comes complete with areas for the physician to circle or fill in with frequency, intensity, amount of time and type of activity in addition to a listing of age-appropriate activities for children, teens and adults. Additionally, the prescription sheet comes with lists of nutritional goals, stress relievers and phone numbers for local organizations that provide low- and no-cost options for physical activity.
“Our mission statement for ACHIEVE is ‘Together we can achieve more’ and the wellness prescriptions project really exemplifies that,” said Sanders. “Together with local medical professionals, we can encourage community members to live healthier, more active and disease-free lives.”
ACHIEVE encourages anyone interested in making any major lifestyle changes, including a new diet or exercise program, to seek the advice of their primary care physician or another medical professional.
The ACHIEVE initiative encourages community leaders, local business professionals and the general public to create wellness opportunities and to make health-related lifestyle and policy changes in the community.
For more information about ACHIEVE or wellness prescriptions, contact Sanders at 473-1212 or visit www.Facebook.com/TogetherWeAchieve.