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Get Moving to Prevent and Treat Chronic Disease

Chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dementia and depression collectively are the leading causes of death worldwide.

A chronic disease is defined as an illness that is not contagious, usually is long standing, progresses slowly, and is typically a result of genetics, environment, poor lifestyle or the interplay thereof. Chronic diseases are on the rise with 6 in 10 adults in the US living with one, and 4 in 10 living with more than one. Did you get that!? More people in this country have a chronic disease than do not! That is astonishing to me. The CDC sites the top lifestyle factors responsible for these astounding numbers to be tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and excessive alcohol intake. In this week’s blog, we are going to take a look at one of these factors: physical activity.

Being physically inactive is associated with increased chronic disease risk. Likewise, physical activity and exercise are associated with reduced chronic disease risk. Most every physiologic system in the body benefits from exercise.

The American College of Sports Medicine and the World Health Organization have released physical activity guidelines to help prevent and treat chronic disease. For adults, this is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. In the US, 25% of young adults and 33% of middle-aged adults reported being inactive and this percentage increased with every decade of life. This is very serious as low physical activity levels can be detrimental. For example, if a person with type 2 diabetes increases their sedentary time by only 1 hour per day, their mortality (death) risk could increase by 13%!

Current literature supports the concept of a dose-response curve for exercise with high individual variability. The concept of an exercise dose-response curve for health benefits was introduced by 2 landmark epidemiological studies. These studies demonstrated that increased physical activity is associated with decreased all-cause mortality.

Literature also supports that quality of life is improved when physical activity is included as a part of the medical management plan for people living with chronic disease.

We see better functional ability and muscular strength, less inflammation, favorable cholesterol changes, improved blood pressure, heart rates, and body composition. We also see improvements in mood and less cancer mortality.

Additionally, exercise improves bone density and immune system function. It also has been shown to improve learning and cognitive function in healthy adults those and those with disabilities. There also is an inverse relationship between the amount of physical activity one gets and the risk of developing dementia.

Are you sold yet? The list of benefits continues and continues.

What is the take away?

If you want to prevent ever getting or best manage a current chronic disease, you are going to want to get moving.

Are you interested in home-based workouts that are effective and efficient that will help you meet and exceed the recommended physical activity guidelines? Do you want all the planning and programming done for you by a certified trainer? Do you want community support to help keep you accountable and cheer you on? Consider the Forever Fit Life Tribe Membership!


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