Your next visit to your family doctor may end with an order to go play outside.

Quebec's Federation of General Practitioners is teaming up with the Grand Defi Pierre Lavoie to prescribe physical activity to Quebecers as a way of improving health.

They have prepared formal prescription pads for exercise and will be delivering precise instructions about how much activity is necessary.

Doctors say everyone knows that physical activity is necessary for good health, and the prescriptions will provide a specific guideline about how active they truly need to be.

"At this moment the family physician prescribes physical exercise for the patient but it's important to have a specific way to prescribe, to know it's like any medication. It's probably better than any medication because you have no side effects and all the benefits," said the Federation's president Dr. Louis Godin.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is one example of what can be accomplished through regular exercise.

He has taken to riding a stationary bicycle and eating better in recent months and has lost more than 16 kg (36 lbs).

"It's amazing," said Coderre. "Every morning, I'm leaving the house around 6 and coming in before 7 and doing my 40 minutes of biking and then I feel great."