An exercise recommendation is a list of guidelines an individual can choose to follow to become healthier. These guidelines can be found on many websites such as the NHS or the American College of Sports Medicine and they can also be told to an individual by a medical professional. An individual may decide they want to become healthier on their own and would do this without a medical professional and check the guidelines themselves. However, for some individuals they can find it hard to stick to a healthier lifestyle, so they will see a medical professional for help. Many different roles come under a medical professional including sports therapists, physiotherapists, general practitioners etc.
An exercise referral is where a programme is designed to suit a specific individual based on their needs. A medical professional would refer a patient to a fitness programme, usually based in their community. The MP will communicate with the fitness instructor to ensure the patient is getting the correct programme based on their needs. The programme will usually last for around 12 weeks. At the end of the programme an evaluation will take place to see if the goals have been met. If the goals haven’t been met and the patient hasn’t improved their state of health, they may have to carry on with the programme until there is positive difference in their health. If the goals have been met at the end of the 12 weeks, then they will gradually be reintegrated back into the community to enable them to carry on with their new lifestyle on their own (Exerciseregister Online, 2018). Medical professionals may decide to refer a patient to an exercise scheme if they are at risk of obesity, diabetes, heart problems or strokes etc. A patient may also be referred to a physiotherapist for example by the MP if they have just had surgery to make sure they regain the same range of movement before the operation. Recommendations and referrals are both very important. Recommendations are important because they can be used as goals by a patient. For example, 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise should be done a week. This recommendation could motivate a patient to complete this guideline each week. Referrals are even more important because they can make a different in a patient’s life by reducing the risk of illnesses and disease during their lifetime and it improves their mental and physical wellbeing (Nice Online, 2018).
Medical professionals would use health screening procedures when first meeting with a client to see how healthy they are. These procedures include a client consultation form, health screening questionnaire, questioning and non-verbal communication. A client consultation form is important as it will tell the medical professional if the client has any current medical conditions. If this stage is missed then the client may be at risk of injuring themselves further. For example, if the client is obese and has a problem with their ankle due to the stress of weight on it then it could be made worse during exercise because the sessions haven’t been adapted around it. Health screening and physical activity readiness questionnaires are important because the medical professional will be able to find out more information about their client which will help them make their decision on whether they need to be referred or not. The questions on these forms find out if the client has any family history health conditions, allergies, previous injuries etc. The medical professional may also run some tests such as blood pressure, peak flow, waist to hip ratio etc. to see if the client is in a healthy range for their age (NHS Online, 2018).
The first stage of the referral process is a consultation with a medical professional or a general practitioner. During this stage a conversation is had about why the recommendations haven’t worked for the client and what can be changed to ensure they do. During the second stage the health professional assesses the client. They do this by using health screening procedures such as checking blood pressure, BMI, resting heart rate and lung function etc. from this stage the MP would refer the client to the exercise referral scheme once they have gained consent. The third stage is support and engagement with an exercise professional. During this stage goals are set, and a 12-week programme is created to suit the client’s needs. After the 12-week programme the fourth stage takes place which is the evaluation. If the client’s goals have been met, then they won’t have to continue on the programme anymore with the help of the professional they can try their new lifestyle for themselves. This stage links with the last stage of the exercise referral scheme. If the client has met their goals, they can then be reintegrated back into their community which is the fifth stage. This stage is not closely monitored by the health professionals. After 6 and 12 months the client would be monitored by the health professionals to make sure they are still meeting their goals and that they haven’t gone back to their old ways.
Everyone Active offers an exercise referral scheme for individuals with long-term health problems with the aim to increase activity levels which will overall improve their general health. This scheme can help people who are overweight, experience depression, have high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma or arthritis etc.individuals can benefit from this scheme because participating in regular physical activity will improve your health by improving muscle and joint functions managing your weight and lead to a healthier heart. To join this scheme individuals need to speak to their GP and they will confirm if they fit the referral criteria. Some of the activities that maybe included in an individuals exercise program are swimming, exercise classes, gym based exercise and fitness classes in water such as Aqua Zumba. They are required to attend two sessions weekly for a number of weeks. The exercise referral specialists will be there to help individuals on the way to motivate them when they need it. There’s also a chance to be introduced to new friends whilst on this scheme (Everyoneactive Online, 2018).