FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Katie Test, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Doctor Writes Unusual Prescription: Daily Dose of Rail-Trail Exercise
Trend Emerges as Doctors Take Accreditation Course Prescribing Exercise on Rail-Trails
WASHINGTON, D.C. On July 23, Dr. Roger Landry will teach fellow doctors about something he's been doing for years: writing prescriptions for his patients to get exercise on rail-trails.
"We all know exercise is good for us, but the research recently is as powerful as any drug release that is out there," says Dr. Landry, president of the Masterpiece Alliance Foundation, Inc. "Now the research very specifically tells the myriad and powerful results that come from just moving. I recommend physicians actually put [exercise] on a prescription pad and treat it as they would any other treatment regimen."
The accreditation course will teach doctors about the importance of exercise, citing rail-trails as avenues for an active, healthy lifestyle. Dr. Landry recommends rail-trails—pathways created from former rail lines—for their rail-grade slopes and gentle curves. With more than 15,000 miles of rail-trails, located in every state, these corridors provide easy, fun ways for patients to begin or improve a healthy fitness routine.
"A rail-trail is accessible," says Dr. Landry. "They are not a daunting piece of machinery patients have to learn, or something artificial. Instead, walking in a natural environment is inviting, and as more and more trails open, there is usually one not very far from where you are."
"I'm glad the medical community is taking notice and integrating trails, walking and biking into a typical care regimen," says Keith Laughlin, president of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC). "Getting consistent exercise is just as important as getting the right medicine, and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is pleased to help provide healthier places for healthier people."
Dr. Landry's course, which will be held at the Pottstown Memorial Medica l Center in Pottstown, Pa., will focus on the role of medical practitioners in facilitating lifestyle modifications, particularly relating to physical activity that enhances health and aging. The course is part of an extensive trail development grant program with RTC and is funded by the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with more than 100,000 members, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information visit www.railstotrails.org.