The good news is that we hold the power to our overall physical and mental health late into life. By doing the right thing, each of us can improve our health every day.
The Rise of Chronic Disease.
Although diseases are not a new thing to humankind, the rise in chronic diseases has risen significantly in the past couple of decades. While we have made huge strides in reducing death from infections, our rate of death from noncommunicable diseases is rising steadily and stood at a whopping 72% in 2016 worldwide. This means that for every person dying of infection or accident or old age, 3 people die of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity and related cancers.
Exercise reduces your risk of developing big chronic diseases
It also improves your chances of feeling better longer in life by improving circulation and reducing osteoporosis, arthritis and other degenerative conditions. Exercise also improves your feeling of self-worth, your independence, and your reliance on other people to do things for you. Exercise improves your social life. The list is endless.
Exercise is so important in reducing your risk of developing chronic diseases at all ages, it’s considered a principal (primal) intervention in managing chronic disease and prevention of chronic disease.
Plain speak – if you don’t want to develop chronic disease or if you are suffering from chronic disease, exercise should be your No1 intervention. Your medical doctor should recommend you undertake physical activity as a vital part of your prevention or recovery programme. It is as important as any medication or diet he might put you on.
Conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer are all dramatically improved when physical activity is included in the medical management plan of the patient.
Just how much Exercise helps?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week, plus some muscle-strengthening activities at least twice per week.
How does that look?
Moderate aerobic activity is any activity that gets your breathing harder and your heart beating faster. This can be a half-hour brisk walk, a gym class, a cycle, attending a dance class or doing work in the garden. The important thing is that this type of activity adds up to 150 minutes per week, that’s 2 ½ hours. So, just one gym class, one session in the garden and a good old walk with a friend will suffice to keep your aerobic fitness going. You will also need to make sure that you strengthen your muscles every week. This includes activities such as heavy gardening, carrying heavy loads at home or a strengthening gym class.
A well-set-up gym routine does it all for you. You can also ask your Personal Trainer in the Gym to set you up on a varied programme that will hit all areas, aerobic and muscle strengthening.
Adults over 65 years of age should also include balance-improving activities to help reduce their risk of falling.