Exercise is medicine

A few weeks ago I attended a meeting at the FH in Münchenstein together with other therapists and a doctor. We exchanged ideas about what content should be taught in the respective classes with regard to knee joint arthrosis …

As a lecturer, I made it clear to myself that osteoarthritis must always be viewed individually. Every patient has a different perception of pain. However, the aim must be to build up the musculature with the help of exercises. At the end of my lecture, the doctor came up, looked at me and said to me: “If you had told me this two years ago, I wouldn’t have believed a word you said. Since I have been doing strength exercises regularly myself for two years now, I am convinced of the effectiveness of the movement”.

Being active is the most important thing to improve health at any age. This is nothing new. Exercise promotes natural growth and development, makes you feel better, works better, sleeps better and reduces the risk of suffering from many different chronic diseases.

Inactivity, on the other hand, is a major problem and a contributing factor to many different chronic diseases. Inactivity ranks 4th among the causes of death after high blood pressure, smoking and high blood sugar. In 2008, more than half (56%) of the adult population in the US did not meet the minimum activity levels required. Positive effects start immediately after training and are present even after short episodes. Scientific studies show that a healthy lifestyle requires an average of 150 minutes of weekly training/physical activity and strength training two days a week.

Even if you have certainly read it before. Here again the influence of movement on life:

Regular activity lowers / reduces …

  • the risk of death in older people by 40%.
  • the mortality and risk of breast cancer recurrence by approximately 50%.
  • the risk of colorectal cancer by over 60%.
  • the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 40%
  • the risk of suffering from heart disease and high blood pressure by about 40%.
  • the blood pressure at rest
  • the risk of a heart attack by 27%
  • the blood lipid values
  • the risk of developing type II diabetes by 58%
  • Symptoms of back pain, fibromyalgia

Symptoms of back pain, furthermore, activity helps with depression, slows down the aging process, improves the quality of sleep and bone density, increases the basal metabolic rate (thus helping with weight loss) …

Do we need even more reasons for the best medicine we can give ourselves? Every beginning is hard! However, we can start small. For example, let’s start avoiding elevators and escalators again. Usually you are not much slower but our health is much better. For more intensive and longer exercise it is important to choose something you enjoy. Then there is a chance that this important activity is carried out over a longer period of time and does not immediately fall asleep again. Because falling asleep is inactivity and we do not want that!

Strickland JC, Smith MA. The anxiolytic effects of resistance exercise. Front Psychol. Jul 10;5:753. 2014.
Westcott WL. Resistance training is medicine: effects of strength training on health.
Curr Sports Med Rep. Jul-Aug;11(4):209-16. 2012.