Updated: Aug 19
An average personal trainer will have a greater positive impact on health than the vast majority of licensed healthcare providers in this country.
No I am not joking, and no I am not being hyperbolic.
Our healthcare system is not healthy or caring. Its sole purpose is to manage disease. If your goal is to be healthy, you should try your best to stay out of physicians offices and hospitals.
If the system was designed to make you healthy the focus would be on exercise, diet, and other impactful lifestyle changes. Instead it’s pills, imaging, and surgeries. Each of these has their own value, but they’re each over utilized to a point where they decrease the health in society. Polypharmacy causes increases in falls, hospitalizations, and deaths consistently in studies. Imaging, and the way the results are delivered to patients, often creates harmful nocebo effects, and many common surgeries are performed far more often than clinically indicated.
So what do personal trainers know that healthcare professionals with years of study do not?
It’s more about focus. Every day trainers encourage people to exercise to improve their health, most encourage other healthy behaviors like eating healthier, spending time outdoors, etc. Meanwhile in healthcare, the majority of providers agree that diet and exercise are the best medicines, state that it is their job to promote diet and exercise, but unfortunately do not feel competent enough to prescribe fitness. The focus of healthcare professional schooling is on the current medical system. Even in physical therapy school, where we probably learn more about exercise than any other healthcare profession, the focus was on exercise prescription to decrease pain or address current disability. To learn about exercise programming for health and fitness requires self study and additional education. Until this focus changes, our healthcare system will continue to deliver poor results, and personal trainers will continue to be more impactful for population health than healthcare providers.
If you are looking for an upgraded experience from your healthcare, concierge medicine is available nearly everywhere now. Many providers know that the system is failing patients, and we are offering superior care outside of the traditional system where we can focus on our patients more than our documentation responsibilities for Medicare.