In France, doctors have traded prescribing drugs to their patients for physical activities. Surfing is one of the most prescribed sports, but other sports practiced outdoors and, preferably, at sea are also part of the list.
This revolution has taken place in the city of Biarritz, on the French coast. As reported by the British newspaper, The Telegraph, this is part of the medical effort to improve the quality of life of patients while reducing dependence on the use of drugs to fight certain diseases.
The pilot project has the participation of 20 doctors authorized to prescribe up to 12 weeks of initiation lessons in modalities such as surfing, stand up paddle, swimming, hiking, and much more. The sport is carefully chosen, taking into consideration the disease, severity, and conditions of the patients.
Apparently, in some cases, physical activity can completely replace traditional medications.
According to Nicolas Guillet, one of the creators of this project, a big difference can be noticed after only six weeks. The format has been so well accepted that practically all patients that completed 12 weeks of “course/treatment” decided to continue practicing the sports.
One of his main examples is a 40-year-old woman who suffered from severe back pain and had undergone surgery ten years ago. The prescription for this case was Stand Up Paddle lessons and six months later, she says she went through a real revolution, with the pains almost disappearing.
According to experts, contact with the sea is incredibly therapeutic. Surfing and other similar modalities can help fight chronic pain, depression, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and prevent a series of deaths caused by physical inactivity.