An interactive blend of health care and fitness

“Exercise is Medicine” is a club affiliated with the American College of Sports Medicine, which is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. UAA’s club is just one of the many university chapters scattered throughout the nation.

The Exercise is Medicine club aims to set students up for post-college success.
The Exercise is Medicine club aims to set students up for post-college success. Photo credit: Exercise is Medicine

The main initiative for Exercise is Medicine on campus is to gather and have students in health-related fields collaborate on educational and professional matters that are health and exercise based.

Members like Vice President Jordyn Block work diligently to meet these goals.

“We want to help college students appreciate the value of physical fitness and exercise as the first step to this bigger goal of prevention. This semester, we participated in some fun activities that included Zumba and a Pure Barre class,” Block said. “Over the summer we had unofficial group hikes and ultimate Frisbee games. Additionally this semester, our biggest event we participated in was our American College of Sports Medicine Fall Speaker Tour.”

On a direct campus level, Exercise is Medicine aims to contribute to movement on campus, instilling fitness and physical activity in students and connecting club members to healthcare and sports-related professionals.

To incorporate external resources, Exercise is Medicine utilizes guest speakers and educational events.

In November alone, Exercise is Medicine hosted a Speaker Tour that incorporated three guest speakers, including Dr. Robert E. Sallis, Dr. Carena Winters and Dr. Renee Jeffreys Heil.

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These speakers provide beneficial advice and knowledge for students in the club, many of which are physical education majors.

“These three incredible speakers gave us a lot of insight and ideas for new activities to implement into our club,” Block said.

Students in the club who are attempting to get their B.S. in Physical Education utilize the club’s information to provide a backbone for their future endeavors relating to physical education, that includes scientific foundations, psychological and cultural aspects, assessment and testing methods, trends and leadership development in a variety of physical activities.

Many of the students in Exercise is Medicine choose the “health and fitness leadership” route of the physical education degree, as opposed to the “outdoor leadership and administration” route. The health route prepares students for hospital or community based health education and fitness programs. Exercise is Medicine helps to set these students up for post-college success by giving them beneficial experience and connections.

Despite the community-based initiatives, the Exercise is Medicine UAA chapter is actually a part of a big-picture health initiative the spreads across the world. Exercise is Medicine is only a subset of American College of Sports Medicine.

“Our main goal is to promote healthy lifestyles through physical activity. The bigger goal of Exercise is Medicine is to start prescribing exercise as a means to prevent chronic illnesses including things like diabetes and high blood pressure. Basically, prevention is key,” Block said.

Through the American College of Sports Medicine students get the ability to connect with professionals in upwards of 70 different occupations of sports medicine around the world, they can attend conferences and meetings, consider funding options for research, find policy or advocacy work or even find future career opportunities.

To learn more about Exercise is Medicine, visit their Facebook page Exercise is Medicine on Campus at UAA.