According to Harvard Health Publications, diabetes, cancer and heart disease are among the most common health conditions. It can be frightening to think about how a diagnosis of any of these three would impact our lives. That is why it is important to be proactive. Whether you are trying to avoid a diagnosis or manage one, exercise can help.
Exercise and Cancer Prevention
A recent CNN Health article reported results of a study which suggested that exercise not only helps reduce the likelihood of cancer but also increases survival rates. Researchers followed more than 17,000 men for two decades. Among the men who exercised regularly they found fewer incidents of lung (most common type of cancer) and colorectal cancer than for the more sedentary men. For the smaller number of men that did develop cancer exercise reduced the risk of death.
Exercise and Diabetes Prevention
Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic health condition that has risen dramatically in the United States over the last decade. In fact, even children are being diagnosed in numbers greater than ever before. The primary culprit? Obesity. Diabetes is directly linked to obesity so it stands to reason that if obesity is the problem exercise if the answer.
Exercise and Heart Disease
Exercise has been proven to reduce the likelihood of heart disease. Raising your heart rate through exercise improves your circulation and strengthens your heart. Exercise also lowers bad cholesterol and blood pressure, two of the biggest enemies of a healthy cardiovascular system.
So what kinds of exercise can help you reap the healing benefits of being active? Almost any kind at all; here are a few examples:
You don’t have to be an Olympian to heal your body with running. It isn’t about how fast you go, just that you go. In fact, you can enjoy many of the same benefits with a regular walking program. Runners have better elasticity in their arteries, thus lower blood pressure. They also have stronger lungs and use oxygen more efficiently. Running helps maintain a healthy weight, which means less risk of obesity and diabetes, too.
According to the American Heart Association yoga can boost heart health. Yoga does not count toward the recommended 30-minute regular exercise goal but it is still a very important tool in managing common health conditions. The ancient practice is of benefit because of its ability to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Yoga can also improve balance and stability. This is increasingly important as we age.
One of the best ways to manage diabetes is to pair aerobic activity (anything that gets your heart rate up) with strength training. The combination of aerobic activity and strength training is a sure fire way to reduce fat and build muscle. Any way you look at it less fat, and especially a trimmer waistline, means better health.
What does this all mean? No matter your current health status exercise can help. Whether you are managing diabetes, high blood pressure or another common condition like depression or stress exercise is one of the best remedies under the sun.