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Manic Monday ~Exercise is Medicine

We have all heard the phrase: "Laughter is the best medicine!" And it seems to ring true when we are emotionally down in the dumps. But what about physically? What's the best medicine when we down in the dumps with our physical well being? Unfortunately there is no "magical pill" that can be taken by itself to change our physical bodies. Sure, there are pills for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and many other conditions, but none of those pills magically turn your melt your fat or build strong muscles unless you, yourself put in physical activity and effort. In fact years of a sedentary lifestyle can aid in a deteriorating body. The body becomes unchallenged and begins to weaken. And the best medicine is not in pill form rather it's in the form of exercise!

Regular exercise lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, dementia, and other chronic diseases, and serves as a powerful stress-reducer and mood-booster. That's why the ACSM and the American Medical Association co-launched Exercise Is Medicine, a global movement that encourages physicians to refer patients to fitness professionals in their communities, and likewise, encourages fitness professionals to make connections with physicians. With health care costs on the rise, and with the future of the U.S. health insurance industry uncertain, using exercise as a preventive health tool is perhaps more important than ever.

Worldwide, it is estimated that physical inactivity causes:

  • 6% of the global burden of disease from coronary heart disease;

  • 7% of Type II Diabetes; and

  • 10% of breast and colon cancer cases.

Inactivity also causes 9% of premature mortality, or more than 5.3 million of the 57 million deaths that occurred worldwide in 2008. On the other hand, regular physical activity:

  • reduces mortality and the risk of recurrent breast cancer by approximately 50%.

  • reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease

  • lowers the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer-specific specific mortality in adults with higher levels of muscle strength

  • leads to higher academic performance in children and adults

Despite these health concerns of being physically inactive:

  • More than half of U.S. adults (56%) do not meet the recommendations for sufficient physical activity set forth by the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,

  • U.S. adolescents and adults spend almost eight hours a day in sedentary behaviors, and

  • As much as 36% of adults engaged in no leisure-time physical activity at all.

So, how about this kind of medicine???

It's WORTH a try!!

Have a GREAT week!

Rachel Zimmerman

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