When we think of the term “prescription”, we often picture a small piece of paper given to us by our doctor with a drug name and directions scribbled on it. At Sletten Wellness we believe that physical exercise is equally or even more important than taking drugs for the conditions that ail us. Therefore we offer all of our patients a clear and specific exercise prescription that details a plan of action.

Sometimes the activity plan is very specific for the rehabilitation of an orthopedic injury. The athlete needs to keep an acceptable level of fitness while he/she recovers. We can help design a program that guides you through a program that will leave you in the best possible shape when you return to full activity.

But exercise is also an essential part of a return to optimal health and wellness. Yet for some, this idea of regular daily physical activity is a new concept. Our goal at Sletten Wellness is to help our patients ease into a life of daily movement and recreation that is intentional, safe, challenging and enjoyable.

The case for the positive health benefits of exercise has been made for over half of a century, and the list is growing. Exercise is known very well to greatly diminish the risks of cardiovascular disease, and is part of the comprehensive treatment of obesity and diabetes.

Regular activity also greatly helps regulate normal gastrointestinal function. This includes not only motility, but also digestion, immune function, and neuroendocrine function. Indeed the enteric nervous system that controls our gut has proven to be almost as complex as the central nervous system that we call our brain. The two systems are intricately connected, and yet they function quite independently as well. Michael D. Gershon, MD was one of the original investigators who mapped out the enteric nervous system, and he eloquently describes his path of discovery in his book, "The Second Brain."

So with this gut-brain connection, it is easy to see how a healthy intestinal tract is important to our brain health as well. Exercise promotes gut health, but the current explosion of research out universities such as Harvard, Columbia and UCLA is showing the integral role of exercise on brain development and even IQ. Exercise promotes nerve cell growth and the interconnectedness of different areas of the brain. These are fascinating discoveries when we consider some of the core brain deficits of autism and ADHD, or the degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease. At Sletten Wellness, we believe that regular and even vigorous exercise should be one of the key components in the recovery and treatment program for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions.

Finally, vigorous exercise is an effective and potent detoxifying modality. Many environmental toxins are released through sweat and the gastrointestinal tract. Exercise promotes these ports of exit while upregulating the formation of the body’s own enzymes that run the detoxification biochemistry. So much of our long term health relies on functional immunologic and detoxification systems. Cancer, for instance, is likely a result of the breakdown of these systems. So, at Sletten Wellness we are serious about addressing these issues, and we believe that exercise plays a vital role in the restoration of optimal health.