The true value of exercise can be measured by weight loss, improved fitness, stronger bones, increased energy, better quality sleep, elevated mood and enhanced mental function, as well as reduced risk of many age associated health conditions. Exercise is one of the most frequently prescribed therapies for the prevention and treatment of certain chronic diseases. Research suggests that even a modest increase in physical activity is associated with a 42 percent lower risk of heart attacks and a 22 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Recent studies have linked total energy expenditure to improved cardiovascular health regardless of exercise intensity. Every little bit of activity helps, as even low-key movement is beneficial to overall wellbeing.
Daily life activities and movements that we don’t necessarily think of as physical activity all add up to daily exercise. Although the biggest health boost of light activity occurs when one is active for at least five hours daily, increasing the amount of movement by 30 minutes each day can reduce the risk of early death. Adding in one extra hour of light movement each day brings about a 14 percent drop in coronary heart disease risk, as well as an eight percent drop in cardiovascular disease risk. There is clear evidence that regular physical activity results in improved health and reduced risk of premature death from any cause, and in particular, cardiovascular disease among asymptomatic adults.
As a therapeutic agent, exercise contributes to the primary and secondary prevention of pulmonary diseases; cardiovascular diseases and hypertension; metabolic disorders including diabetes, obesity and insulin resistance; muscle, bone and joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and osteoporosis; as well as depression and cancer. A study geared towards older women found that the recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week was daunting for many. However, spending time in motion for as many daily minutes as possible is not only manageable but also equates to the current recommendation to “move more and sit less.”
Benefits of regular exercise by the numbers:
- Up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- Up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- Up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
- Up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
- A 30% lower risk of early death
- Up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
- Up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
- A 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
- Up to a 30% lower risk of depression
- Up to a 30% lower risk of dementia
Despite the overwhelming evidence that exercise exerts a powerful influence on health, physical inactivity remains a public health issue. Per the CDC, approximately 50 percent of Americans aged 18 and older do not meet federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic activity each week, and only 23 percent meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle strengthening activities, potentially setting themselves up for future health problems. When broken down, 150 minutes of weekly physical activity equates to 30 minutes of daily exercise five days every week. Incremental movement can be interspersed throughout the day. As a rule of thumb, two minutes of moderate intensity exercise provides the same health benefits as one minute of vigorous intensity exercise.
The benefits of regular exercise include improvements in blood pressure and blood sugar; reduced blood lipids; better bone, joint, immune and digestive health; and long-term preservation of neuro-cognitive function. While rigorous exercise may not be appropriate for seniors, exercise can be modified to suit anyone’s unique stamina and abilities, even those who are limited by medical conditions or frailty. While inactive individuals are more prone to the risk of obesity, illness, falls and broken bones, making a concerted effort to get up and move can improve mobility, flexibility and strength. Inactive adults should strive to break up long periods of inactivity with light activity, such as moving or walking around for 10 minutes each hour of the day.
Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements to support physical activity for overall wellness:
BCAA Capsules by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic formula provides essential free-form branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA’s promote muscle function and recovery, as well as provide nutritional support for athletes seeking optimal lean muscle mass. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.
D-Ribose Powder by Protocol for Life Balance®: Naturally found in all living cells, D-Ribose supports energy production and storage, muscle recovery and the maintenance of healthy cardiac energy metabolism. Free of yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish and tree nuts. Non-GMO vegan formulation.
Energy/Sports Formula™ by Douglas Laboratories®: This carefully formulated synergistic and comprehensive vitamin, mineral, enzyme, botanical and antioxidant blend assists with energy metabolism during sport and exercise, offers potent antioxidant protection and promotes healthy functioning overall. Free of yeast, wheat, gluten, soy protein, milk/dairy, corn, sodium, sugar, starch and artificial coloring, preservatives and flavoring.
Athletic Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations®: This high potency hypoallergenic blend of highly bioavailable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, trace elements and mineral co-factors is formulated to support physical training, endurance, energy, performance and recovery. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.
Exercise acts as a drug; the pharmacological benefits of exercise. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448908/
Physical activity guidelines for adults. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/#guidelines-for-adults-aged-19-to-64
Every Little Move You Make Can Help Your Health, Study Says. http://time.com/5550764/light-exercise-heart-health/
National Health Interview Survey. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/releases/released201806.htm#7