Thursday, November 18, 2010

Exercise Lowers Risk of Disease, Halts Aging

(Article first published as Exercise Shown to Lower Disease Risk, Slow Body Aging on Technorati.)
Did you ever think that exercise wasn’t good for your body and health? Most people feel rejuvenated after a good workout and it just makes sense that you’re lowering your risk of illness. While too much exercise (think marathon runners) has detrimental side effects, moderate doses of aerobic and resistance training is shown to lower the risk of developing more than two dozen diseases and can actually slow down the aging process.

Exercise Helps Your Body Fight Disease
Researchers reviewed more than 40 studies over the past four years and found that regular physical activity was repeatedly associated with lowered risk of cancer, heart disease, dementia, stroke, diabetes, depression, obesity and high blood pressure. The review published in the  International Journal of Clinical Practice demonstrated that next to not smoking, exercise is the most important lifestyle choice you can make to improve overall health. The report highlighted obesity, diet, smoking and physical activity as the most important factors that we can control to achieve optimal health.

Aim For 150 Minutes of Exercise Each Week
Most studies reviewed settled on 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. The most cited example is taking a brisk walk for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Also, mixing aerobic and resistance exercise on alternating days is suggested to work different body zones and receive the benefit of both exercise regimens. It’s important to continue exercise as you age as some research shows that the detrimental effects of aging can be slowed or even reversed with good physical fitness discipline.

Lowering Your Disease Risk Factors
The health benefits associated with exercise can be seen to affect many different conditions. It’s clear that we have evolved to be physically active as exercise impacts a wide range of diseases. Researchers have shown how regular exercise can lower disease risk and slow the aging process for specific conditions.

Coronary Heart Disease: Moderate exercise is associated with lowered risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. The Women’s Health Study demonstrated that exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease in women by 27 to 41% by improving cholesterol ratios and strengthening the heart muscle.

Overweight and Obesity: There is a natural correlation between physical activity and weight reduction. Aside from the additional calories burned through exercise, blood sugar and insulin resistance are also improved. This action lowers dangerous triglycerides and helps prevent metabolic syndrome that leads to diabetes and increased risk of heart attack.

Cancer: Walking or cycling for an hour each day has been shown to lower the risk of cancer by 16%. Some studies have shown a sharp reduction risk of colon cancer in both men and women, while men who avoid sitting at a desk all day are at much lower risk of developing prostate cancer.

Lack of physical activity causes a number of biochemical changes within our body that signal the onset of disease. Not only does regular exercise improve muscle tone, but it alters our metabolism toward health. Find a way to include 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week to dramatically lower your risk of disease and slow the damaging effects of aging on your body.

2 comments:

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