Exercise has been shown to improve and lower the risk of certain diseases and ailments as well as improve overall health. Exercise can truly have some amazing results. Below are seven excerpts from articles written by doctors, researchers, etc regarding the health benefits of exercise.
Jordan Metzl, a sports-medicine physician, said “Exercise is the best preventative drug we have, and everybody needs to take that medicine”.
From the publication “Exercise acts as a drug; the pharmacological benefits of exercise”. “Our general conclusion is that exercise is so effective that it should be considered as a drug..” Department of Physiology, University of Valencia, Fundacion Investigacion Hospital Clinico Universitario/INCLIVA, Valencia, Spain.
From an article from ACSM Online Library, “Effects of Resistance Training on Arthritis and Fibromyalgia”, “A study by Jan and Liau found that resistance training reduced arthritic discomfort, and a study by King and colleagues determined that resistance training increased knee extensor and flexor strength without increased knee joint pain. Ettinger and associates found that both resistance exercise and aerobic training resulted in more strength, less disability, and less pain for older adults with knee osteoarthritis.” and “A two-year strength training study by Hakkinen and colleagues showed significant improvements in muscle strength and systemic inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Other studies have demonstrated beneficial effects of resistance training for people with rheumatoid arthritis, including increased muscle, decreased fat, and improved physical function”. “Larsson examined changes in muscle strength, health status, and pain intensity in 130 women with fibromyalgia. The strength training group experienced significantly greater improvements than the control group in all of these assessment areas”.
From an article by Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter….. “In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning”. And “The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells”. From the article “Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills”.
From another ACSM article, “Exercise is Disease Prevention”, “Studies show that with lifestyle modifications, including diet and exercise, both heart disease and stroke are 75 to 80 percent preventable and type 2 diabetes is 90 percent preventable. For those individuals who have a genetic predisposition to a disease or have already been diagnosed, lifestyle choices can help the individual manage the disease and reduce potential complications. Numerous authorities have noted the importance of exercise and lifestyle”. And “In 1996, the Surgeon General’s Report addressing physical activity and health summarized the findings, suggesting that “people of all ages can improve the quality of their lives through a lifelong practice of moderate activity.””.
From article “Effects of Exercise and Physical Activity on Anxiety”, “Adults who engage in regular physical activity experience fewer depressive and anxiety symptoms, thus supporting the notion that exercise offers a protective effect against the development of mental disorders (van Minnen et al., 2010).” and “Numerous studies and meta-analyses show that exercise is also associated with reduced anxiety in clinical settings”, it was stated though that “Future studies are needed to further this type of work, as well as studies specifically exploring clinical applications of exercise in anxiety disorders”.
PubMed article [Effects of exercise on anxiety, depression and mood]. “The results confirm the acute effect of exercise i.e. the reductions in anxiety and depression after single sessions of exercise. The changes in anxiety, depression and mood states after exercise are explained most frequently by the endorphin and monoamine hypotheses. Exercise may also increase body temperature, blood circulation in the brain and impact on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and physiological reactivity to stress. The possible psychological mechanisms include improvement of self-efficacy, distraction and cognitive dissonance”
Exercise has been shown to improve brain and heart health, help arthritis and fibromyalgia, help and/or prevent type 2 diabetes, reduce anxiety and depression, increase longevity and much more. Whether you are wanting to improve your health or lower your risk of developing certain diseases and ailments, exercise seems to be a great prescription.
Disclaimer: Always consult your physician before starting any new exercise program/increasing your current level of physical activity. Though there are dozens of benefits to exercise there are also many contraindications to it for certain individuals and you should always be cautious and consult a doctor/physician for further advice/guidance.
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