Health: How Physical Activity Is Fundamental In The Prevention Of Chronic Disease

Mother and daughter stretching

Unfortunately, we live in a world where chronic diseases are not uncommon.

These diseases include asthma, diabetes, back pain, etc. Not all of them are equally severe but, no matter what type of chronic disease you might have, it is essential that you treat it on time. The good news is that you can prevent and treat most conditions with a good diet, enough physical activity, and a generally healthy lifestyle. This article will focus on physical activity fundamental in prevention of chronic disease. However, before you start implementing any type of exercise into your routine, make sure to talk to your doctor! They must examine your condition first and tell you what you should avoid in order to stay safe.

How can physical activity aid in the prevention of chronic disease?

Physical activity is the key to preventing chronic diseases! If you exercise regularly throughout your life, you will significantly lower the risk of developing any chronic condition. You will also improve your general health and wellbeing. Physical activity helps in dealing with stress which is a big trigger for chronic diseases, as well.

For instance, aerobic exercises are great for weight loss, endurance and preventing heart disease. Workouts focused on increasing strength help improve your muscle tone and thus prevent chronic back pain. Flexibility exercises help with posture and stability and thus reduce the risk of developing chronic joint pain. Almost any kind of physical activity - swimming, cycling, playing tennis, or even walking, is going to do wonders for your body and mind. 

Mother and daughter exercising

What chronic diseases can you prevent with physical activity?

Whether you will develop a chronic disease or not depends on many factors. If you make exercise a part of your life, you can significantly improve your chances of preventing, or if necessary, treating any chronic condition. This might seem intimidating for beginners, but remember, there are many excellent exercise tips out there. 

So, you must be wondering what chronic diseases are most commonly prevented and treated with physical activity? Here are some examples: 

Back and joint pain - regular exercise will increase endurance in your back and joints and thus improve your muscles' function.
• Asthma - physical activity can help with controlling the frequency and the severity of asthma attacks. 
Arthritis - the risk of developing arthritis is exceptionally higher in people who lead a sedentary lifestyle as their muscles and joints become too stiff from a lack of physical activity.
Diabetes - people who never exercise risk getting high blood sugar levels and developing diabetes, which can lead to many other conditions and complications. Physical activity lowers not only blood sugar but the chance of having a heart attack, as well.
• Dementia - exercise is always recommended to people who have dementia and other similar diseases. Regular exercise lowers the risk of getting dementia and all kinds of cognitive impairments.
• Cancer - although the risk of getting cancer depends on many factors, physical activity can undoubtedly help with improving one's general health condition and thus lower the chance of getting cancer, especially breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer.

What exercises are best in the prevention of chronic diseases? 

The answer to this question is easy - all kinds of exercises! Whether you like jogging, mountain climbing, weight lifting, bike riding, or doing yoga, any type of physical activity will lower your chance of developing any of the above-mentioned chronic diseases. Remember, it is crucial for your health that your body gets a good workout

If you are unsure about where and how to start, you can consult with your doctor. He or she will give you constructive and safe advice on how to proceed when implementing more physical activity into your routine. If you need even more help, you can hire a reliable personal trainer. These trainers will work with you daily and motivate you to exercise, eat well, and lead a healthy lifestyle. However, if hiring a trainer doesn't fit into your budget, you can find many helpful videos online and exercise at home. Additionally, since technology is slowly becoming the future of health care, you can invest in smartwatches, mobile apps, and similar gadgets. These can help you keep an eye on your heartbeat, blood pressure and they can even track your calories.

But, as you are looking for physical activities that are best for preventing chronic diseases, let's explore some of them. Research has shown that the following activities work best for improving one's overall health: swimming, cycling, strength training, yoga, and running. 

A healthy woman riding a bike

How often and at what intensity should I exercise? 

If you are in good health and not experiencing any symptoms, you can exercise as much and as often as you want. As long as you feel good and comfortable while exercising, everything is allowed. Just make sure your sleep cycle is on track, remember to eat healthily, and stay hydrated. A healthy lifestyle will ensure there is nothing to worry about when it comes to exercise.

However, if you have not exercised in a long time or suffer from a chronic disease, it is crucial to consult your doctor first. Otherwise, you might hurt yourself and maybe even worsen your condition. Therefore, schedule an appointment first and move on to exercise once you get the green light. 

In general, the time you should devote to your daily physical activity should be anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, 3 to 5 times a day. You should always start slow with a warm-up and continue with exercises that you like and find comfortable. You can even break your routine into shorter periods and do them throughout the day. Remember - physical activity fundamental in the prevention of chronic disease will only be as effective as you are persistent.

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