Greetings my MAD COOL FITNESS CREW and Happy Monday! I recently read an article published by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), through which I hold several certifications, that will be the subject of today’s post. We all know that exercise is important for our health. Our bodies are designed to move and if we don’t…well, bad things happen, and I don’t just mean a burgeoning muffin top!
The article outlines studies that show physical activity can reduce the risk of 35 ailments, some of which are life-threatening. I won’t go through them all, but here are just some of the health conditions consistent physical activity can help combat:
1) Low VO2 Max– the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use during a specified period intense exercise. It is dependent on body weight and the strength of the lungs.VO2 max is also called maximal oxygen consumption or maximal oxygen uptake. One study concluded that low VO2 max was a stronger predictor of death than hypertension, smoking and diabetes.
2) Cardiovascular Diseases – Coronary heart disease resulting from plaque building up in the arteries. Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) which is caused by a narrowing of the arteries. Hypertension, stroke and congestive heart failure are others.
3) Bone & Joint Diseases – Osteoporosis, a decrease in bone mass that makes bones more brittle. Ladies, weight lifting is especially good for building strong bones so don’t go for the little girl weights, pick up the, “I’m a grown ass woman” weights!
Osteoarthritis is another bone-joint disease which is caused by a degeneration of the cartilage within a joint. Rheumatoid arthritis which is caused by inflammation of the joints Inflammation is never good and can be addressed through both diet and exercise. My grandmother use say, “The Ritis Brothers got me…old Arthur and Bur are clowning today!”
4) Depression & Anxiety – Ever start a workout in a janky, depressed mood but then end it feeling like you can conquer the world? Yep. Studies have found even short-term exercise can alleviate depression. In one study, Dimeo et al. (2001) found subjects who engaged in 30 minutes a day for 10 days, doing moderate treadmill exercise saw improvements in mood.
5) Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome – Insulin resistance is the precursor to being diabetic. The body is not responding to insulin to get glucose out of your bloodstream and into your muscles and liver. Metabolic Syndrome is a combination of high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
6) Cancer – There are many different types of cancers, some of which are not linked to lack of physical activity. There are others that are. Harriss et al. (2007) concluded that 13-14% of colon cancers were due to physical activity. Booth, Roberts, & Laye, (2012) found people in the highest physical activity category and 40-50% lower risk of developing colon cancer than those in the lowest physical activity category.
And there are numerous other health issues physical activity can combat, and that’s just with moderate, consistent exercise.
The key word being CONSISTENT. You don’t have to train like you’re going to Rio, but you do need to sweat a little bit and do it CONSISTENTLY.
So this week when you think, “I’m tired. It’s raining. I already had two doughnuts and a bucket of fried chicken this week, why bother?”…turn them sheets loose in the morning and get moving! This is about more than our vanity, our muffin tops. This is about our health. A little bit of CONSISTENT effort goes a hella long way.
Go get ’em.
Jennifer and Your MAD COOL FITNESS CREW
1) Booth, F.W., Laye, M.J., & Roberts, M.D. 2011. Lifetime sedentary living accelerates some aspects of secondary aging. Journal of Applied Physiology, 111 (5), 1497–1504.
2) Dimeo, F., et al. 2001. Benefits from aerobic exercise in patients with major depression: A pilot study. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 35 (2), 114–17.
3) Harriss, D.J., et al. 2007. Physical activity before and after diagnosis of colorectal cancer: Disease risk, clinical outcomes, response pathways and biomarkers. Sports Medicine, 37 (11), 947–60.