In the past few weeks I’ve noticed a hubbub in the fitness industry. Doctors have been getting into the act. They have actually been prescribing exercise to their patients.

The reasoning for this is sound. Over the past few years I have been writing about the health benefits of fitness for my articles in alive magazine. For example, in my article “No time for fitness?” I listed a few of the

I wrote that all my participants know the benefits of exercise. These include:

  • preventing weight gain and obesity
  • protecting against heart disease and diabetes
  • improving sex life
  • lowering blood pressure
  • increasing energy
  • lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and raising HDL (good) cholesterol
  • decreasing symptoms of depression and stress
  • reducing the risk of stroke, cancer, and osteoporosis
  • boosting self-confidence, esteem, body image, and mood
  • protecting seniors from injury, reducing pain, and preparing for seasonal activities

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Now that doctors are getting into the act, I’m expecting to see a corresponding increase in the numbers of participants that will be attending my class. It may be a respectable increase when readers learn of the economic ramifications of this medical intervention.

Years ago, in 1984, I bought a gym membership. When I joined, I told them that I wanted to maintain and tone my physique. (I said this knowing full well I was misusing the term “tone.” Muscle tone refers to the state of a muscle at rest. Lay people mistake tone for muscle development and the removal of some overlaying fat so the exerciser can resemble an anatomy chart.) What my real goal involved meeting many women with hard bodies.)

An offshoot of this goal was the fact that I immediately recognized that almost everything about the gym was hilarious. Timidity, master-slave relationships between instructors and participants, people’s relationships with mirrors and a host of other obsessive-compulsive behaviors all under one roof and all demonstrated by yours truly led me to start writing. Fitness was a study in hilarious human behaviour, and the gym was my laboratory.

I sold my first piece there. BC Woman-to- Woman Magazine bought “How to cheat at aerobics” for $100.

“Wow,” I thought.

The trouble with making all that money is that it costs money to make money. Therefore I wrote off my membership as research costs. All my new friends at the gym told me I couldn’t write off a personal service, but I got away with it – so far.  Actually it became a moot point, as a few months later, I became an instructor there and my membership was free.

Now that doctors are getting into the act of prescribing fitness, their fitness choices may become something that can be written off on taxes as a medical expense. Better still, if one has a medical plan at work, perhaps it can be written off as a medical expense on the plan.

All they can do is say, “No.”

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.





  1. Sharon Says:

    You can deduct gym costs if you have a written prescription from your doctor. It doesn’t work if the doctor just says “you need more exercise.” Dr. Oz doesn’t count.

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