There’s a new movement in medicine that food heals. In fact, it’s called the food is medicine movement. There are some amazing studies that show how eating specific foods can help not only prevent cancer, but one day can cure it. The same could be said for exercise. There is also an initiative called Exercise is medicine. There’s a lot of research that shows that combining the health giving benefits of food with the invigoration of exercise overcoming or preventing serious conditions may be possible.
The American College of Sports Medicine manages the Exercise is Medicine global initiative.
The program is devoted to guiding primary care physicians to include exercise and physical activity as part of their treatment programs for patients. So much is now known about the benefits of exercise and health, that many health insurance programs no provide exercise programs as part of their benefits, particularly Medicare supplements for seniors. It helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, dementia, heart disease, cancer and osteoarthritis. It has been shown to lower the risk and even help osteoporosis.
Exercise helps in a number of ways.
It increases the length of the telomeres, which protect DNA from damage, preventing early cell death. That alone can cause illness and aging. When you move, it helps your muscles stay strong or get stronger. It also helps reduce inflammation, which is the cause of many serious conditions. Exercise helps keep your hormones in balance, while improving blood vessel and heart functioning. It also burns the hormones of stress, which can cause serious conditions. Exercise also can reduce pain.
While doing anything is better than doing nothing, you’ll get more benefits from a well-rounded program.
Just walking thirty minutes a day can boost your overall health and improve it, but getting a program that has more than just walking can be the most benefit. Strength training is important for building muscle mass, preventing accidents and preventing osteoporosis. Flexibility training helps prevent injury, too. It’s especially important for anyone that does strength training frequently and to prevent pulled muscles that can put you out of commission for days.
- I have known a woman who was told she’d never walk again, due to many health issues. Through sheer strength and courage, she worked relentlessly to pull herself up and finally managed to walk. Anything is possible with the courage to try.
- If you start a program of fitness, always check first with your healthcare provider. If you’re working with a personal trainer, let the trainer know of any health conditions you have.
- One study in 2014, showed that exercise, even when there were small increases, which included walking at a faster pace or doing more leisure activities, improved heart functioning.
- Exercise not only helps reduce the potential for depression and anxiety, it also can boost cognitive thinking and lower the risk of dementia.