Monday, July 24, 2017

The Impact on Health of No Exercise

Most experts agree that exercise by itself is not the best way to lose weight and maintain weight loss. However, those experts would likely agree that exercise is important in a weight loss and weight maintenance program. They would no doubt agree, also, that exercise is important to good health in general. And recent research has shown that the absence of exercise can have dire effects on a person's health.

While exercise can benefit a weight loss and weight maintenance program, exercise can also enhance a person's health in other ways. For example, exercise can increase cognitive abilities. 

In one study, it was shown that exercise and a healthy diet can improve cognitive abilities in children. The investigators suggested that "Physical activity and healthy diets in early childhood are associated with better cognitive outcomes."

In another study, the researchers concluded that "three months of physical activity" could improve a child's ability to shift his or her attention from one situation to another, and do it smoothly and quickly. Further, the researchers indicated that physical activity "programs ... improved executive function-related set-shifting performance, as measured by the total number of errors" committed by the obese young adolescents in the study.

So the inclusion of exercise is beneficial. And the exclusion of exercise can be quite unhealthy.  In a study done at the University of Liverpool, "a group of 28 healthy people of a normal weight with an average age of 25" was followed. And it was found that "14 days of sitting around reduces muscle mass, increases body fat and raises the potential for high cholesterol."

Therefore, from the above, it is obvious that including exercise in our daily lives is beneficial to health, while the exclusion of exercise can raise the risk of poor health. Hence, primary providers should make a point of emphasizing the importance of exercise, while informing patients that even a two-week lack of exercise can be detrimental to health.

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