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Lifestyle October 27, 2023

The Role of Physical Activity in Preventing Chronic Diseases.

Medically Reviewed by Pharm. Emmanuella Oladeni

Written by Ella Oladeni

The importance of physical activity in maintaining a healthy lifestyle has long been acknowledged, and it has many advantages for both mental and physical health. The ability of regular physical activity to stave against chronic diseases is one of the strongest arguments for doing so. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), usually referred to as chronic diseases, are long-lasting health conditions that frequently cause severe morbidity and mortality. Adopting an active lifestyle, on the other hand, can significantly minimize the risk of having chronic diseases. This article addresses the function of physical activity in the prevention of chronic diseases.

Understanding Chronic Diseases.

Chronic diseases include cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases  such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and mental health issues. These conditions cause a significant number of premature deaths worldwide. Poor diet and lack of physical activity are key contributors to the development of chronic diseases.

The Benefits of Physical Activity.

Physical activity provides numerous health benefits, including preventing the occurrence of chronic diseases. These benefits include:

Cardiovascular Health: Engaging in regular physical activity lowers the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke by strengthening the heart and circulatory system.

Weight management: Exercise helps people manage their weight and avoid obesity, which is a major risk factor for diabetes, a number of cancers, and heart disease.

Diabetes Prevention: Exercise lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes by improving blood glucose regulation and insulin sensitivity.

Bone Health: Activities that require bearing weight, including walking and weightlifting, assist to keep bones strong and lower the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

Cancer Prevention: Studies have shown a correlation between regular exercise and a decreased risk of lung, breast, and colon cancers, among other cancers.

Mental Health: Engaging in physical activity can improve mental health by lowering the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.

Respiratory Health: Aerobic exercise has been shown to enhance lung function and lower the incidence of long-term respiratory disorders.

Support for the Immune System: Moderate exercise on a regular basis may improve immunity and lower the risk of infection.

Stress Reduction: Engaging in physical activity can help reduce stress and its associated disorders.

Guidelines for Physical Exercise.

It's important to adhere to recommended guidelines in order to fully benefit from physical activity in preventing chronic diseases:

Aerobic activity: Perform 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity or at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Activities like cycling, swimming, jogging, and brisk walking are great choices.

Strength Training: Perform strength training exercises on at least two days a week for all major muscle groups. Both muscle mass and bone density are enhanced by this.

Flexibility and Balance: To lower the chance of falls and injuries, incorporate exercises that improve flexibility and balance, including tai chi or yoga.

Reduce Sedentary Behavior: Cut down on extended sitting times. Take quick, vigorous pauses to break up your inactive time.

Adapt to Personal Fitness Levels: Select exercises based on your current level of fitness and health, and get medical advice if you have any illnesses or worries.

In conclusion, one effective strategy for preventing chronic diseases is physical activity. Its advantages for heart health, diabetes prevention, cancer risk reduction, mental wellness, and other areas are indisputable. People can greatly lower their chance of having chronic diseases by maintaining an active lifestyle and following advised recommendations, which will result in a healthier and more satisfying existence. Furthermore, as physical activity becomes ingrained in daily life, its significance in averting chronic diseases is acknowledged, making it a vital component of public health initiatives.

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