Thursday, April 10, 2014

More Proof That Exercise is Beneficial to Good Health

Because overweight and obesity are worldwide problems, weight loss approaches command attention. No matter what weight loss approach is employed, the overweight or obese person is commonly urged to change his or her lifestyle. The person is told to follow a low calorie diet and to increase his or her physical activity. Indeed, exercise is important in weight management, and exercise can benefit many elements of our body.

Adipose or fat cells secrete a number of different proteins. Some of these proteins are beneficial and some are not. Examples of non-beneficial proteins are pro-inflammatory proteins called interleukins. And interleukins 6 (IL-6), one of the secreted proteins, is associated with metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes. 

One study "indicated that diabetes as [a] whole was strongly associated with elevated levels of IL-6, leptin, CRP and TNF-α, whereas worsening of glucose control was positively and linearly associated with high levels of IL-6, and leptin. The associations remained statistically significant even after controlling for BMI and age." At least one study showed that exercise might be associated with a lowering of IL-6.

Adiponectin is an example of a mostly healthy protein secreted by fat cells. The protein is associated with lower inflammation and the protein enhances insulin. One study suggested that "exercise improved adiponectin levels irrespective of weight gain or loss" in obese Korean women.

Indeed, "exercise has benefits for every body system; it is effective both as a way to treat and as a way to prevent disease. Exercise can improve memory and concentration, lessen sleep disorders, aid heart disease by lowering cholesterol and reducing blood pressure, help sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction, and raise low libido." Excercise can lower the risk of some cancers and exercise can reduce body inflammation.

While recent studies have shown that exercise is not as effective as diet for weight loss, exercise is important for general health. So, health care providers would be prudent to counsel their patients on the benefits of exercise.

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