Exercise is medicine. No matter which way you look at it, exercise is important in improving a whole list of factors to do with our health.

With over half of Australians failing to meet the National guidelines of 150 minutes of exercise a week, let’s consider some of the reasons as to why exercise is beneficial for us (and no, it’s more than just losing weight.)

Got Arthritis? Exercise may help improve symptoms. Research looked at 32 different trials and found that exercise improved osteoarthritic symptoms. In those with Rheumatoid Arthritis (where the body attacks the cartilage that protect the joints) exercise helped improve aerobic capacity and muscular strength.

Heart disease is the single leading cause of death in Australia. Exercising after a heart attack has shown to decrease mortality by 27 percent and cardiac mortality by 32 percent. Exercise helps manage and improve the modifiable risk factors associated with heart disease. Exercise is proven to decrease blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and improve cardiovascular fitness.

With the number of those living with type 2 diabetes dramatically increasing, exercise is a used as management for the disease. Those who exercise with type 2 diabetes improve cardiovascular fitness, weight loss, muscle gain as well as being able to better control blood glucose levels.

Dementia is the leading cause of disability in older Australians. Did you know that exercise can reduce your risk of developing the disease? Exercising moderately for 30 minutes on most days saw a reduction in risk. 21.8 percent of dementia cases can be associated to inactivity. Exercise improved physical capacity and quality of life in patients with neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. For those with depression and/or anxiety, exercise is used as treatment as research states that the neurotransmitters and hormones produced during exercise improve mood.

What about exercise during chemotherapy? Well that is now a recommendation! At Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, Exercise Physiologists have been running a study with cancer patients who exercise straight after a chemotherapy session. And the results are fantastic, with fatigue decreasing in those patients with the potential to change how we treat cancer in the future.

I could go on for ages, but these statistics speak for themselves. 150 minutes a week is only 21 minutes per day. Find something that interests you, like joining a sporting club, grabbing some friends and joining a group class or even taking the dog for the walk; all of that is exercise!  

If your workplace is interested in the health programs we run, get in contact today to find out more.