In BC, you can get answers to questions like these and expert advice, for free, when you call 8-1-1. How does it work? Here’s a little “play-by-play” of the process:
- You dial 8-1-1 on your phone and are connected to a health service navigator who asks you what service you are looking for. After telling them you want to be more active or have a question about physical activity, they connect you with a Qualified Exercise Professional (QEP).
- The QEP starts by asking if you want a confidential record created in your name (if not, you can remain anonymous) and goes through a quick disclaimer.
- Next, the QEP addresses your reasons for calling. Some of the reasons you might call could be:
- to ask a general question about exercise
- you are looking for resources like a logbook, or a Rate of Perceived Exertion scale
- for help way-finding local programs in your community
- to get personalized recommendations or have an exercise plan developed for you
- The QEP will ask a few questions about your health and physical activity level to better understand what would be most appropriate for you.
- After we know a little bit more about you, the fun part begins! The QEP can develop a personalized exercise plan or recommendations that meet your goals or needs. People have all kinds of goals: from managing their diabetes, to completing a triathlon, to beginning a weight lifting routine. Let’s say your goal is to strengthen your core and you don’t want to go to the gym. The QEP could create a printed exercise program (sent to you by mail or email) that has pictures and descriptions of exercises you can do at home with no equipment. It would also tell you how often and how long to do the exercises.
- From there, follow-up appointments can be set-up to check in on your progress and answer any questions you may have. Follow-up appointments are a great tool for sticking with goals because it gives you more accountability as you have someone to check in with.
If you were familiar with the Physical Activity Line, you might have noticed a few changes with this service on social media and the web over the past few months. What was previously the Physical Activity Line is now Physical Activity Services at HealthLink BC (alongside our trusty dietitian colleagues).
Our services remain the same - we still provide individualized, evidence-based physical activity guidance, offer ongoing support with staying motivated and active, conduct clearance for participation in physical activity programs, and more. As always, all staff are qualified exercise professionals with university-level education, nationally recognized certification in the field, and advanced training in clinical exercise prescription. A huge advantage of our move to HealthLink BC is our ability to instantly transfer callers to our colleagues: Registered Nurses, Registered Dietitians, and Pharmacists.
Like how that sounds? You are only a three digit call away from free, personalized exercise advice. Simply dial 8-1-1 and ask to speak with a qualified exercise professional.
Healthlink BC: Physical Activity Services