Exercise: A Modern Panacea

A recent article in the New York Times states: “You Name It, and Exercise Helps It.” There is nothing that has a greater and immediate impact on one’s health than exercise. Frank Hu, an epidemiologist at the Harvard Medical School of Public Health said, “The single thing that comes close to a magic bullet, in terms of its strong and universal benefits, is exercise.” Exercise is proven to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, congestive heart failure, obesity, depression, dementia, osteoporosis, gallstones, diverticulitis, falls, erectile dysfunction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis, lower back pain, and over 12 different types of cancer to name a few. And if you already have one of these conditions, exercise can help you manage them and improve your quality of life. Regular, moderate bouts of exercise increase your body’s ability to prevent and manage chronic ailments. Aerobic exercise increases your heart and lung’s ability to pump and distribute nutrient and oxygen rich blood to the entire body. Which in turn can lower blood pressure, increase peripheral circulation for those suffering from cramping, improve glucose tolerance for those with or at risk of diabetes, decreases stiffness and deterioration of joints due to arthritis, it counters the loss of muscle mass and strength due to lack of oxygen in those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Those suffering from depression can experience a sense of accomplishment in learning a new task, which builds self esteem, social contact and exercise induced endorphins improve mood.

We could all benefit from less aches and pains, better sleep, improved well being, and enhanced quality of life. Whether or not you suffer or are at risk for serious disease, exercise is the cure for what ails you!