Managing Your Condition With Exercise
Get Motivated to Exercise
Ward Off Disease continued...
3. Type II Diabetes. This
disease is increasing at alarming rates -- by 62% since 1990 -- and 17 million
Americans now have it. Physical activity can enhance weight loss and help
prevent and/or control this condition. Losing weight can increase insulin
sensitivity, improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and reduce blood
pressure -- all of which are very important to the health of people with
In a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Frank Hu,
MD, of the Harvard School of Public Health found that a brisk walk for one hour
daily could reduce the risk of type II diabetes by 34%.
4. Obesity. Overweight and obese
conditions can be prevented or treated with exercise along with a healthy diet.
Activity helps to reduce body fat and increase muscle mass, thus improving your
body's ability to burn calories. The combination of reduced calories and daily
exercise is the ticket to weight loss. And controlling obesity is critical, as
it is a major risk factor for many diseases. Lowering your body mass index
(BMI) is a sure way to reduce your risk of dying early and to live a healthier
5. Back Pain. Back pain can be managed
or prevented with a fitness program that includes muscle strengthening and
flexibility. Having good posture and a strong abdomen is the body's best
defense against back pain.
6. Osteoporosis. Weight-bearing
exercise (such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, or lifting
weights) strengthens bone formation and helps prevent the osteoporosis or bone
loss often seen in women after menopause. Combine a diet rich in calcium and
vitamin D with regular weight-bearing exercise for maximum results.
According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, data
from the Nurses' Health Study showed that women who walked four or more hours
per week had 41% fewer hip fractures than those who walked less than an hour a
7. Psychological Benefits.
Improved self-esteem is one of the top benefits of regular physical activity.
While exercising, your body releases chemicals called endorphins that can
improve your mood and the way you feel about yourself. The feeling that follows
a run or workout is often described as "euphoric" and is accompanied by
an energizing outlook. Exercise can help you cope with stress and ward off
depression and anxiety.
And these are just a few of the ways exercise improves your health. Studies
have suggested it can also help with certain types of cancer, improve immune
function, and more.