Exercise Is Medicine

The other day I made the trip to go to a presentation from “heart-wise exercise” foundation in Kingston. It was a great revision about training for clients with cardiovascular diseases. There was also a nice introduction for training clients with osteoporosis.

There was one quote that got my attention when I was there and it was the following: “What if there was one prescription that could prevent and treat dozens of diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity?” (Robert e. sallies, M.D., m.p.h., facsm, exercise is medicine). This was not the first time that I saw that quote.

I remember seeing this in one of my physiology for exercise classes. Let’s get rid of the suspense; exercising is the magical pill. In short, exercise can help increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels, reduce weight, improve glycemic control (very good for everyone, including diabetic people), decrease blood pressure and reduce risk of stroke. Pretty cool outcome isn’t it? If that doesn’t motivate you to start exercising, how about the fact that exercising will help you keep your mind? Yes, it does!

This may be a way to get you starting to a new lifestyle but try and find something that you will enjoy doing no matter what the outcome is. It may be hiking, running, cycling, swimming, cross-country skiing in the winter, you name it. Find out what makes you tick and what motivates you to train in order to get better at what you are doing.

Training will not only help you improve in your sporting endeavours; it will help you improve quality of life and will make everyday tasks seem so much easier because you are getting healthier, stronger and fitter.

Pay attention to your numbers. Your weight is not the only important number here. You can get your blood pressure measured at the drug store or get a sphygmomanometer in order for you to measure your blood pressure on a regular basis (weekly). Pay attention to the numbers and there should be a change in your pressure if you lose 10% of your body weight (if you are overweight or obese). Only 10% will take off so much pressure out of your blood vessels.

If you already have a sport that you love practising, how about paying attention to your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) level? Do you sit all day? Do you watch a lot of television? How about standing up more at work (with a stand-up desk) or making sure you hydrate appropriately (get up to go to the bathroom is good) or playing a card game with your family instead of watching television? How about foam rolling as you watch television? There are many ways to help you stay healthy and keep you moving outside of your sport. The minimum number of steps that should be done in a day is 7500 steps to help you stay away from diseases (I would suggest 10000 or more and you can get a good pedometer at the following link). What you choose to do is up to you.

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