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Is Exercise Medicine?

Posted on October 10, 2017 by Don Tomaszewski, M.S., ATC/L, Director, Sports Institute/Medical Fitness/Outpatient Rehabilitation Medicine

You have probably heard that exercise is good for your health, but did you know that it can actually help to heal your body? Understanding the value of exercise is more important than ever since our nation is in the midst of an “inactivity epidemic.” This inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death nationwide and is responsible for 3.2 million deaths each year. The financial cost is also enormous—the medical repercussions of inactivity result in 102 billion dollars of US healthcare expenditures annually.

Risks of Inactivity
 
If you are one of the 56 percent of American adults who do not meet the recommendations for sufficient physical activity, you are putting yourself at an increased risk for a variety of serious and potentially life-threatening health issues such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. Believe it or not, it is actually better to be physically fit and overweight than unfit with a lower percentage of body fat. This, coupled with that fact that one third of all cancers may be fat related, and therefore preventable, means that all of us should be making an effort to increase our physical activity!
 
Benefits of Exercise
 
No matter one’s age, when combined with a commitment to healthy eating, regular physical activity can provide a wealth of health benefits. Exercise is an essential tool that contributes to managing weight, building lean muscle, reducing fat, strengthening bones and joints, and lowering the risk of obesity. 
By getting at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise at least three days a week, you can make a positive impact on both your physical and emotional health! Some of the many benefits of exercise are outlined below.
 
Emotional benefits:
  • Improved mood
  • Decreased feelings of depression
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Increased ability to concentrate
Physical benefits:
  • Decreased risk for developing type 2 diabetes
  • Reduction in the incidence of heart disease
  • Reduction in the incidence of high blood pressure
  • Lowered risk of stroke
  • Improved sleep
  • Decreased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease
  • Decreased risk of developing obesity
  • Increased energy and stamina
Getting Started
 
The safest and most effective way to get in shape is to partner with a trained fitness professional who can assist you with creating a personalized fitness plan. Your plan should follow these “F. I. T. T.” guidelines:
  • Frequency- “How often?”
  • Intensity- “How hard?”
  • Time- “How long?”
  • Type- “What mode?”
In addition, it is important to choose a fitness facility that will support you and guide you in reaching your health and fitness goals. With this in mind, I am excited to introduce you to Valley Health System’s new Center for Health and Wellness! Our unique facility, which is slated to open in early 2018, combines outpatient medical and rehabilitation services with LifeStyles, a world-class fitness center. This integrated campus will offer a healthcare hub for diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive services in one convenient location at 1400 MacArthur Boulevard in Mahwah. All services will be provided by Valley’s award-winning team of healthcare professionals.
 
For more information about Valley Health LifeStyles and our pre-opening sales membership offer, please call 201-389-0839. 

To take a virtual tour of the center, please click here.
 
Please note that all of the above facts are from the American College of Sports Medicine website ExerciseIsMedicine.org.
Tags: Exercise

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