This is a follow up to the first post on benefits of exercise, which can be found here.
So you’ve heard exercise is good for you, and you’re like “yeah it’s probably good, but I’m fine, it can’t be as good as just having the evening off to chill at home” which is more like something I have said and I’m projecting it onto you. If you are also like me, then you also need sufficient evidence before you’re going to make any lifestyle changes. So here we go...
Today’s post is the meat-and-potatoes of 'why' exercise is good for you, but maybe more importantly 'how' it is good for you. In most cases, a “trust me, this works” is not really sufficient for us to really understand how something works, and we have a much deeper respect when we see the -why and how- it works.
Ok, exercise is a little good for me.
No, hold up. It’s actually got some amazing nuances to how it changes your mind and body. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges released a report going so far as to call it the closest thing to a “miracle cure”. (http://www.aomrc.org.uk/publications/reports-guidance/exercise-the-miracle-cure-0215/) This report was not just based on a few case studies, but many randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses. Ok maybe not total-miracle-cure-for-everything, (https://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h1416) but we have a LOT more evidence for the benefits of exercise compare to, say, some supplements that seem to come in fad cycles. And the best thing is that I’m not trying SELL you anything, this is literally something you just go out and DO. (On the other hand, I really promote the use of a personal trainer on occasion to check up on your form and muscle engagement, as well as the "do as much as you are able" mentality for your particular circumstance.)
Inactivity is a natural result of convenience. But being inactive has become such a problem that many big research groups have given it the pleasant term “Sedentary death syndrome”. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15317985) The phrase is to give you an eerie feeling for a reason: It describes “major public health burden due to its causing multiple chronic diseases and millions of premature deaths each year”. Meaning not just one or two diseases, but like, a BUNCH of them. Even for diseases that don’t necessarily have a direct link to being sedentary, research is pointing more to the likelihood of a sedentary lifestyle making matters much worse.
The problems with NOT exercising:
May be traced to ‘the cause’ of many chronic diseases
The benefits of exercising:
Reduction of chronic inflammation
Reduced risk of chronic disease
Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
Lower mortality risk
Improved cognitive function/prevent decline of cognition with age
Improve functional capacity
Relieve some types of pain
Improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
Improved immune function
What's going on with me, research articles, interesting little blurbs. This blog is an attempt to consolidate research into an easily digestible format.
Alex Moon has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2012, did his undergraduate studies at Utah State, and is currently working on his Doctorate in Physical Therapy.