Exercise For a Longer, Healthier Life

By RehabFit team members – Becky Chase MS, RCEP, and Leah Baron MS

Leah Baron, MS and Rebeccah Chase, MS, CSCS, RCEP

The effect of activity on mental and physical health is discussed frequently in today’s society. However, the benefits can be easily overlooked and taken for granted.  A recent study done by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic has shown having a sedentary lifestyle is worse for health in comparison to smoking, diabetes, and heart disease.  For 23 years, 122,000 people participated in the study and completed treadmill testing regularly.  The participants were divided into groups based on their performance levels to collect data concerning cardiovascular fitness level, health improvements, and overall longevity and quality of life.  Results showed those who did not exercise had a 500% raised risk of death compared to regular exercisers.  This study confirms staying fit and active reduces long-term mortality.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, reported in June only 23% of Americans get enough exercise.  The CDC guidelines suggest 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, and resistance training twice a week.  A brisk walk, swimming, or mowing the lawn are all examples for moderate intensity.  Being unfit is being viewed as a stronger risk factor compared to hypertension, diabetes, and smoking for mortality.  With this, a sedentary lifestyle should be looked at as a disease, which is treated with a prescription of exercise.  Setting a short-term goal of exercising two to three days a week has shown decreasing the stiffening of arteries.  The resistance that exercise puts on our bodies initiates other cardiovascular adaptations, for example improving the hearts overall function.

The United States spends more than $200 billion every year on treatments and complications for heart disease and diabetes.  These are the most expensive diseases in America, and both are modifiable diseases.  When clearance to exercise from a physician is obtained, there are no limits to the workout intensity unless stated. If we increase fitness education and support for physical activity, diseases and the costs associated with them can be reduced. This will coincide with an overall healthier, and longer, lifestyle.  Exercise is truly medicine, and the benefits are never-ending.

RehabFit is a fitness center for people of all ages and abilities with special attention to members with medical conditions and diseases. RehabFit features cardio machines, dumbbells, TRX suspension trainers and strength machines. Becky and Leah are exercise specialists at RehabFit and are happy to help with any strength training modality and all fitness. Stop by RehabFit to take a tour at Boulder Point in Plymouth or call (603) 238-2225. No referral needed.