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Physical activity must be prescribed just like any other medication

  • Physical activity, along with nutrition and adequate hydration, are the best ways to maintain an optimal state of health
  • Everyone can and must do exercise, but a previous medical assemssment is necessary to prevent any vital risk
  • The 6th of April is World Physical Activity Day


Physical activity is a concept that opposes a sedentary lifestyle and allows the harmonious development of the organs and systems involved. It is necessary to differentiate this concept from sport, which alludes to a more or less extreme form of physical activity, subject to rules, and that of training, which is the method used to achieve better levels of performance and excellent in sport.

As Dr Juan Antonio Corbalán, director of the Sports Medicine and Physical Activity Sciences Unit of Vithas Internacional states, “keeping fit, from a vital point of view, allows us to improve our quality of life, protects us from dependence and positively affects our psychological balance”. In this sense, the ideal would be to have sufficiently active lifestyle habits, but our current lifestyle, which is very sedentary, does not favour physical activity, so it is “packaged in various formats for individuals or groups, ranging from light activities such as walking, swimming, cycling, to other more intense and risky activities”.

When beginning to exercise, regardless of age, a medical assessment is necessary, which includes a report, analysis and simple electrocardiogram, to rule out or discover latent pathologies and their risk. “In this way we can prescribe the amount and type of exercise advised for each case. Physical activity must be prescribed like any other medication”, states Dr Corbalán. Vithas Internacional belongs to the Vithas health group, which has 19 hospitals and 25 specialised Vithas Salud health centres in Spain.

Health benefits of physical activity

A sedentary lifestyle is in itself an enemy of health, and is related with many current pathologies, such as ischemic cardiopathology, diabetes, high blood pressure, overweight, and hypercholesterolemia, among others. “From a strictly medical point of view, physical activity, along with optimal nutrition and hydration, are the best ways to maintain health with the best cost-benefit ratio”, states Dr Corbalán.

Everyone can and must exercise, including patients with reduced capacity reduced to accidents or illnesses. “There is always a form of training for each specific person or case. That is one of the specific fields of sports medicine and phsyiology”.

What is essential is that the physical activity or sport is adapted to the capacity of the patient, as “badly prescribed sport, and of course, practice without sufficient technical knowledge, do not only lead it to lose its benefits, but become an added risk factor”.

Specifically, to present the importance of physical activity, during the month of April, Dr Corbalán will give the lecture “Exercise for beginners” within the Health Class cycle of conferences, an initiative from the Vithas group to promote education for health. The lecture is free, with prior registration to ensure seating, and will be held on several dates:

Vithas’ commitment: accredited quality of care, and personal, long-term service

Vithas is the leading healthcare operator with 100% Spanish capital and the second largest at a national level. Each year it treats over 4,500,000 patients at its 19 hospitals and 25 specialised Vithas Salud health centres. The 44 centres are spread throughout the national territory, notably the hospitals of Alicante, Almería, Benalmádena, Castellón, Granada, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lleida, Madrid, Málaga, Sevilla, Tenerife, Vigo, Valencia and Vitoria-Gasteiz. The 25 Vithas Salud health centres are found in Alicante, Elche, El Ejido, Fuengirola, Granada, La Estrada, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lleida, Madrid, Málaga, Marín, Nerja, Pontevedra, Rincón de la Victoria, Sanxenxo, Sevilla, Torre del Mar, Torremolinos, Vilagarcía, and Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Vithas also has the VithasLab network of laboratories, with over 300 extraction points throughout Spain, and with a strategic agreement with the Red Asistencial Juaneda healthcare network in the Balearic Islands, which has 5 hospitals and a large network of medical centres throughout the region.

Vithas’ commitment to accredited quality healthcare and a personal service is combined with the strong support and long-term vision of the shareholders of Vithas: Goodgrower, which controls 80% of the capital, and the La Caixa group, with the remaining 20%.

With a model for growth based on geographic diversification and sustainability, Vithas plans to continue to consolidate its national presence both through opening new centres and through acquisitions.

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