For many chronic health problems, regular exercise is more effective than any drug.
Exercise as Medicine is a major movement at John’s Hopkins School of Medicine.
You can visit this website for links to many topics on the benefits of exercise.
You can find the top 10 things you need to know about exercise here. They include the following evidence based recommendations from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
any amount of physical activity has some health benefits. Americans can benefit from small amounts of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity throughout the day.
The benefits of exercise are cumulative, walk 10 minutes 3 times per day and you get the same benefit as a 30 minute walk. Walk 5 minutes 6 times and the benefit equals that of 30 minutes continuous walking. So you can break up your exercise in little pieces throughout the day. No requirement for a specific long period devoted to exercise.
New evidence shows that physical activity has immediate health benefits. For example, physical activity can reduce anxiety and blood pressure and improve quality of sleep and insulin sensitivity.
Exercise improves cognition, decreases cancer risk, decreases risk of depression, hypertension, diabetes, stroke and heart disease. It lowers risk of falls and injuries from falls. It decreases pain and helps a variety of conditions. Exercise reduces all cause mortality (death rates from all causes)
Here are some direct quotes from the second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines.
- For youth, physical activity can help improve cognition,* bone health, fitness, and heart health. It can also reduce the risk of depression.
- For adults, physical activity helps prevent 8 types of cancer (bladder,* breast, colon, endometrium,* esophagus,* kidney,* stomach,* and lung*); reduces the risk of dementia* (includingAlzheimer’s disease*), all-cause mortality, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and depression; and improves bone health, physical function, and quality of life.
- For older adults, physical activity also lowers the risk of falls and injuries from falls.*
- For pregnant women, physical activity reduces the risk of postpartum depression.*
- New evidence shows that physical activity can help manage more health conditions that Americans already have. For example, physical activity can decrease pain for those with osteoarthritis, reduce disease progression for hypertension and type 2 diabetes, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve cognition for those with dementia, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and Parkinson’s disease.
You can choose from a variety of TEDtalks on exercise here.
I particularly enjoyed my friend Darryl Edwards talk here.
So sleep well, exercise often, eat clean, filter your water, avoid environmental toxins, get plenty of sunshine, and most important of all, stay connected with friends and family.