The Alternative Consumer

This blog focuses on environmental issues, and healthy lifestyle choices -- new products and service options for your self, your friends, family and home. It's all about making smart choices, and living well!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Alternative Prescription for Health Care

Smart ideas are coming together in the New Hampshire area, and I'm hoping it spreads throughout the country/world.

Charles Brackett, M.D., a noted physician based in Lebanon, New Hampshire prescribes "relatively modest weight loss & and increase in exercise -- 30 minutes of brisk walking a day -- has health benefits equal to or superior to a pill or a procedure". Folks are coming into his office for a checkup and often-times receiving a low-tech prescription for exercise and a map of local walking/biking trails. Kinda cool to imagine the country doc telling you, the patient, to "take a hike."

Doc Brackett coorinates the "Trails for Life" program with the Upper Valley Trails Alliance (Vermont/New Hampshire area) whose mission is to help area residents become more active. It's funded in part by a grant from Active Living by Design.

UVTA also sponsors annual "Bike/Walk to Work" Days and a "Passport to Winter Fun" event to get families onto skis and skates, and out of hibernation in the winter. One of their recent achievements is the Lake Morey Ice Trail, a two-mile, groomed ice path to accomodate skating, the winter's equivalent to walking and hiking. This beautiful lake trail happens to be the country's longest, recreational ice trail.

Just the thought of it sends a small chill, as I hike cross-town sweating my way through NYC concrete on heat-stroke-inducing, sweet summer days. Time to hit the trail...


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