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Exercise as Treatment

Exercise As Treatment

Dr Bret WilsonThe prescription for many health problems and the tonic for maintaining health is exercise. Do you incorporate physical activity as part of your health regiment? In have consultation with doctors about your health needs; has exercise been part of the recommended solution? A recent review of research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports  provides evidence that physical activity is a key factor in treating and maintaining better health. The review outlines the evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy for 26 different chronic diseases. Exercise therapy can help patients recover faster, reduce reliance on medication, reduce hospitalizations, avoid surgery and improve function during activities of daily life.

Neurological and Psychiatric Disease
Depression, anxiety, stress and schizophrenia are psychiatric diseases that exercise has shown patient benefit. Neurological conditions listed in the study include dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. These conditions can interfere with patient’s ability to function in their daily lives. Exercise helps improve balance, energy and self-confidence, provides a normal activity with a sense of accomplishment and social interaction. Exercise stimulates the body to increase aerobic fitness and muscle strength. The body benefits from hormonal changes and the creation of new nerve cells. Memory and mood improve. Stress, depression and anxiety often lead to bad lifestyle choices that further harm health such as smoking, alcohol consumption and avoidance of physical activities. Exercise is a positive activity that serves as a positive distraction from stressors and triggers of anxiety.

Metabolic Disease
Obesity affects the health of over 1/3 of all American adults and 17% of our children Metabolic diseases include high cholesterol and fat levels in the blood (hyperlipidemia), metabolic syndrome, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Diet and other lifestyle choices have a significant effect on these conditions. Exercise shows great promise as a tool to manage the diseases and adopting a more active lifestyle can help improve health and avoid the development of these conditions. The best results are provided by a combination of moderate aerobic exercise and strength training. Weight training helps muscles to burn more fat, results in better fat conversion from LDL to HDL (bad fat to good fat). Exercise has shown to be a much better tool to balance blood sugar than diet and medication alone in type 2 diabetes.

Heart centered HypnotherapyHeart Disease
The heart is a muscle that pumps blood to the body to carry oxygen and nutrients to the cells and helps transport byproducts of cell activity to other organs for processing. Your heart pumps about 2000 gallons of blood through its chambers every day. Cardiovascular diseases are greatly improved and prevented with regular exercise. The diseases discussed in the review include high blood pressure (hypertension) heart disease, heart failure, intermittent claudication  and stroke. These conditions and the recovery from these diseases is greatly influenced by aerobic fitness, strength and endurance. Training helps to keep the heart, vascular system and blood cells to function as well as they can to restore and maintain health.

Lung Disease
Pulmonary diseases impair the lungs ability to draw oxygen into the body and expel carbon dioxide. Aerobic exercise helps to maintain the mechanical aspects of breathing as well as the ability of oxygen and other gasses to pass thru the lungs to the blood stream to be carried to all the cells of the body. Exercise can be used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchial asthma and cystic fibrosis.

Joint, Bone and Muscle Conditions
The best treatment for most musculoskeletal conditions including back pain is exercise. Other conditions in this group include osteoarthritis, joint wear and tear, which is not a result of aging only. Exercise helps to improve mobility, endurance and strength. Movement helps to maintain joint space and function. Loss of bone density (osteoporosis) can result from inactivity; bones are depleted of minerals because the body transfers calcium elsewhere. Exercise is the best way to accomplish weight bearing demands to restore and maintain healthy joints and bones. Exercise and rehabilitation are important pre and post joint replacement surgery. Muscle strength and joint stability help increase activity tolerance and reduce pain.

Cancer
Cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death in our country. Types of cancer and tissues organs affected can vary widely. Direct mechanisms that derive from physical activity may include immune system response, vascular and metabolic changes that help the body fight the cancer cells. Physical activity and improvement of relative fitness during cancer treatment can help improve quality of life and maintain relative normal function. Exercise treatment helps reduce fatigue and improves physical abilities. As previously noted anxiety stress and depression respond well to exercise.
There is a growing body of research that indicates exercise is both a prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases. If you or a loved one has a challenge with one of these diseases, be sure to speak to your physician about the role of exercise in your recovery. If you are not currently treating for one of these conditions consider adopting a more active lifestyle to improve your health.  Health benefits can be achieved with as little as 30 minutes of moderate activity or 15 minutes of vigorous exercise 5 days per week. Begin where your health is and start to move, play and live more. Better choices lead to better health.

Dr. Bret Wilson wants you to move, play and live free from neck and back pain.  For more information about chiropractic, posture, exercise, and how to make better choices about your health visit our website www.bellwestchiro.com.  Find a chiropractor in your area to help you with safe and effective health care.  http://www.acatoday.org/Find-a-Doctor

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