Is Exercise Medicine?

Today we want to share a wonderfully motivational post by Author Christian Worstell about the link between exercise and medicine. See below to read Christian’s Bio. Enjoy!

Is Exercise Medicine?

Does exercise work as well as prescription drugs to treat certain health conditions?

Prescription Medicine Bottle

Doctors have been telling patients for years exercise is important, however, the rates for obesity and obesity-related conditions continues to rise. What if preventing some of these diseases and conditions was as simple as getting regular exercise?

For some conditions, exercise works as well as — if not better than prescription drugs to reduce your risk.

What Exercise Can Prevent

Studies have shown regular physical activity (defined as the equivalent of walking at least 2-1/2 hours per week) can reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, osteoarthritis, obesity, and even cancer. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day, five times per week, can greatly improve your quality of life and help prevent premature death. While this is the bare minimum, it is a level most people can achieve no matter their condition.

One study found in a testing group of over one million people that regular physical activity helped reduce the risk of 13 different kinds of cancer, including breast, endometrial, colon, liver, and more.

Exercise as Medicine

Exercise was not a worry when people had to grow their own food and walk long distances, as we were made to move and our lives demanded it.

Nowadays, it is seen as something you do to lose weight or bulk up. With the sedentary jobs most people have these days, it is no wonder we as a group are continuing to gain weight and have weight-related issues.

We see exercise as just one more thing to add to our schedules, rather than a part of our lives. Exercise is medicine for your body. Exercise keeps your blood pressure down, your weight down, is a natural stress reducer, reduces inflammation, and can increase immunity. It helps keep your body working efficiently.

When you begin to think of exercise as something your body needs rather than just another thing you must do, you may have a bit of a mindset change. Only about 20% of Americans get regular aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise regularly.

Without a change in our exercise mindset, we are only going to see health issues becoming more and more common at earlier ages of onset.

If Exercise is Medicine, Where Do I Start?

Start Here

Now that you see the benefits, you may be wondering where to go from here? Should you join a gym? Try an exercise class? How about just taking a walk?

Walking is easy to work into your day and it is also among the easiest workouts on your body. Start with just 30 minutes a day at a comfortable pace and work up from there. Do some light stretching before and after to keep your body flexible.

Once you get into a routine, begin to add more time or even consider adding weights to your program.

Eat right. No matter your age, you need to eat healthy foods and drink more water. Medicare has even started covering nutritional counseling for older adults, which is amazing for those who need it, as they are even more prone to medical issues.

A nutritionist can help you find the right eating plan for you and guide you in seeing exactly what a portion size looks like. Our portion sizes today are large, and most people do not even know what a healthy portion size looks like anymore.

Exercise IS medicine. If you want your body to work efficiently, a regular exercise routine is a good way to do it. And this works from head to toe.

About the Author:

Author Christian WorstellAuthor Bio: Christian Worstell is a health and lifestyle writer living in Raleigh, NC.

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We hope you enjoyed Christian’s article as much as we did. Thank you for spending time with us today. As always, we wish you the best of health!

Author: Joan

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It's that important.

17 thoughts

  1. I totally agree that exercise is medicine! It also prevents all the other medicines people need when not physically active! A least two days of strength training is also important for anyone especially midlifers and older!

    1. I agree wit you Terri. I credit exercise with keeping me off prescriptions – my Dr. just told me that my bad cholesterol is high but my good is high as well so I won’t need to take medication. And the only prescription I received was: “exercise more”… Great advice! Thanks for spending time with us today Terri!

  2. Thank you Christian for a wonderful article – my friend and I were just discussing this topic today and we are both convinced that exercise keeps the need for medicine at bay… Thank you again, great job! :)

  3. You had me at the title 😊 yes exercise is medicine. I also agree when people had to grow their own food and walk long distances this was not a question. Now in a “on-demand” society we question not only exercise, but the whole concept of getting fresh air.

    1. I agree AOC, I think Doctors should be open to whatever will help the patient. Being open minded and weighing all the solutions I believe are the best doctors.

  4. Health professionals use a wide range of instruments to diagnose and treat a disease or other condition, to prevent a worsening of symptoms, to replace a damaged part, such as a hip or a knee and so on.

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