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Usain Bolt, exercise support and disease prevention.



In the time it takes Usain Bolt to run the 100 metres, the National Health Service (NHS) in England has spent £10,000 on the care of patients with preventable ill health from non communicable diseases (NCDs). 

Is it not time to train every health professional to provide safe and effective exercise advice and support to every patient it sees?

Then the "health of the nation" can proudly present to the world, a world class service that prevents disease as much as it treats disease!

Inactivity and sitting is a killer. You don't have to support your patients to sprint.

Just walking, swimming, dancing, jogging, sports and any leisure physical activities work just as well in preventing and treating disease. Prescribe, support, and signpost exercise as a medicine to each and everyone of your patients. You may just save their life.

 Ann Gates, Founder of Exercise Works!


"Teachable moments" : training our health professionals for exercise medicine

On June 24th, I am presenting to the Sports and Exercise Sub Committee of the Royal College of Physicians, as part of a personal project inspired by the World Heart Federation Emerging Leaders Programme 2014. Here is a summary of that presentation...

Teachable moments in medicine are precious. Teachable moments are those great moments in a health care consult, where you connect with your patient, and help change their behaviour and understanding... forever... and for better health.

Teachable moments can occur throughout patient care pathways, throughout a patient's life but this can only be achieved by making every contact count, in clinical practice. Teachable moments on physical activity advice are life saving for patients. They also provide a purpose in medicine- to help prevent and treat chronic disease and ill health: what many health professionals call a duty of "care."


Health professionals can only provide these life saving, life changing opportunities for patients, if we consistently train all our health professionals to become knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and participate as physical activity advocates. This means that exercise medicine should be a core component of every undergraduate and postgraduate course. In the UK and across the world. Tipping point change for exercise medicine is needed from the Royal Colleges, all health professional organisations, health care systems and from Superman.....

Here is my presentation. I hope you will like it, share it, and become a champion for making exercise medicine part of every health professionals training to be tomorrow's doctors and tomorrow's physical activity champions. 


A briefing document and further information to help promote debate and comment on undergraduate/postgraduate exercise medicine teaching can by found here and here.

As part of Public Health Promotion Week #PHPweek, start making every contact count for physical activity. 36 million lives, around the world, can be saved each year, by promoting and supporting better lifestyle habits in our patients.

Many thanks.... and I welcome your support on making this happen for health professional training, patients, the NHS and for better health, across the world.

Ann Gates BPharm(Hons) MRPharmS, Founder of Exercise Works!


"Teachable moments" for physical activity advice: #PHPweek

"Teachable moments" are those great moments in a health care consult, where you connect with your patient and help change their behaviour and understanding... forever... and for better health.

Making every contact count, is an evidenced based way to facilitate this change. By taking this approach to your consults, for physical activity advice and support, you can be the difference to adding years to their life (in preventing disease and ill health risks) and add life to those years (by helping them become mobile, independent and enjoying life). These teachable moments are effective and life changing opportunities to promote better health. They are also great ways to help signpost inactive patients to the amazing range of support available in their communities and home circumstances.

Seeing "exercise as a vital sign" every consult, embodies the whole purpose of health promotion by ensuring that patients understand the importance of regular fun exercise, as a medicine. 

For promoting public heath week in the UK, start by making exercise advice and support, your every patient, mission! Whether you're a doctor, physician, surgeon, nurse. midwife, pharmacist, dietitian, physiotherapist, allied health professional or health & fitness professional.... exercise works in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.

Your skills in health promotion can be a 'life saving' moment, for your patients.

Practice cradle.....


to grave care...

and let's make physical inactivity (which leads to pain, poor symptom control, immobility, disease and death) history...for every patient!

Ann Gates BPharm(Hons) MRPharmS

Founder of Exercise Works!