Get moving! For most adults, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, and two to three days of resistance training to gain health benefits.Unfortunately, this is not happening. Almost 56 percent of the adult population does not meet minimum physical activity recommendations, and about 34 percent of US adults report having received physical activity counseling during their medical visits.
That’s why ACSM has started the Exercise Is Medicine (EIM) initiative. EIM is a way to improve physical activity efforts and to urge primary care physicians and other health care providers to incorporate exercise when they see their treatment plans.
11 Ways Exercise Improves Health
Typically, the general public hears the same benefits that explain why exercise is beneficial to health – it helps the heart, gives it energy, helps you lose weight, and so on. These benefits are all true, but there are many more reasons why regular physical activity is essential, according to EIM:
- Reduces mortality and risk for recurrent breast cancer by 50 percent.
- It reduces the risk for colon cancer by more than 60 percent.
- It reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 40 percent.
- Reduce the incidence of heart disease and high blood pressure by about 40 percent.
- It reduces the risk for strokes by 27 percent.
- Reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent.
- It is doubly more effective for treating type 2 diabetes than standard insulin prescription.
- Can fight depression.
- It increases the quality of life and the capacity to carry out the activities of daily living.
- Increases productivity.
- Increases cognitive functioning (the ability to think).
Even if only one of these reasons is up to you, I hope you take the time this year to take responsibility of your health and well-being, and start enjoying the many benefits of exercise. (Talk to your health care provider before beginning any exercise program.)
The cost of leading a lazy life
Despite all the evidence and studies that prove that physical inactivity may increase the risk for heart disease and other life-threatening chronic diseases, the majority of the population remains inactive.
Physical inactivity represents the fourth leading cause of death worldwide, which is equivalent to approximately 3.3 million deaths attributed to the year. And if the threat of death were not a sufficiently important risk factor, physical inactivity also has a very high monetary price.
Currently, physical inactivity costs the US health care system approximately $ 330.00 per person each year, which is more than $ 102 billion annually.
The Exercise Is Medicine campaign is designed to provide exercise professionals with a set of research-based guidelines when they prescribe an exercise program for individuals with certain health conditions. Not all chronic diseases or health conditions are the same. Each is unique in its way of affecting the body, which means that the types and frequency of exercise may vary according to the condition.