Recently, this edition of Time was explored, and it revealed some pretty powerful insights into our bodies on exercise. Dr. Jordan Metzl started out the magazine with a great chapter on ‘The Incredible Medicine of Movement’. He commented on the irrefutable evidence of the medicinal value of exercise. He shares evidence that exercise helps to shields the body from disease, and can alter chronic disease states. Not only does it affect blood pressure, stroke rates, and heart attack risk, but it also decreases the risk for 13 types of cancer. In addition, regular exercise is beneficial for the brain, lowering rates of anxiety, depression, and memory loss (including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease). He states that everyone can exercise one way or another.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week (of which a disappointing 20% of Americans achieve). However, some newer studies regarding specific forms of exercise conclude that less time per week can lead to similar health outcomes. Exercise is preventive medicine, and achieves results across nearly all medical conditions. Americans spend more than $3 trillion annually, mainly to treat disease. The improvement of disease outcomes and overall patient health will come from doctors recommended exercise to their patients. Dr. Metzl believes that exercise may someday be prescribed as a real medicine. If doctors and patients are proactive, they can start exercising appropriately without giving up much. Yet, the benefits will be cost-saving, health-enabling, and remarkable.
Mandy Oaklander reviews the recent research results in the chapter: ‘The New Science of Exercise’. She writes about a finding stated by Mark Tarnopolsky, “…paper after paper shows that the most effective, potent way that we can improve quality of life and duration of life is exercise”. The consequences of a sedentary lifestyle are well-documented and dire. It increases risks of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and early death. In addition, it can lead to depression and anxiety, and worsen arthritis symptoms. The chapter explores how Hippocrates determined that eating well does not necessarily keep a man well, but that exercise should also be utilized.
The chapter continues by reviewing the history of exercise, and how it once was a privilege of elite athletes, yet also reveals how nearly half of high school students do not have a weekly physical education (PE) class, and that only 15% of elementary schools require PE at least three days a week for the school year. It is therefore not too surprising that majority of American kids and adolescents have ‘exercise-deficit’ disorder, and that childhood obesity rates have climbed every year since 1999. Exercise physiologist Marcas Bamman believes that exercise will one day be prescribed to patients, to help their medication work better.
Scientists are discovering that not only the heart, muscles, lungs and bones benefit from exercise, but that the brain does too. This leads to quicker learning, better memory, and less depression and anxiety. It is also postulated that exercise may be the best way to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Bamman feels that exercise is regenerative medicine, restoring and repairing (fixing things that are not working correctly). Physical activity is not necessarily a long, grueling workout, but rather includes all movement. In this chapter it is stated that exercise
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