Physical in-activity is a major risk factor for developing coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is characterized by deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, calcium and other substances in the inner lining of arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. It also contributes to other risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, a low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and diabetes. Even moderately intense physical activity such as brisk walking is beneficial when done regularly for a total of 30 minutes or longer on most or all days.
Physical activity simply means movement of the body that uses energy. Walking, gardening, briskly pushing a baby stroller, climbing the stairs, playing soccer, or dancing.
Today there is promising evidence that regular physical activity positively influences the following:
- Mental activity- wether by decreasing depression or improving mental acuity
- Immune function- mild to moderate exercise improves Tcell production where as vigorous exercise decrease immune function
- Cardiorespiratory function- heart and lung function has been well documented to improve with proper training
- Cardiovascular function- the vascular system can develop collateral circulation to make this system more efficient
- Bone density- can maintain or increase with adequate stimulation. Wolfe’s Law says the robustness of the bone is in direct relation to the forces applied to it
- Liver function- the ability to store liver glycogen is improved with cardiovascular conditioning
- Body composition- proper exercise along proper caloric consumption can improve lean body mass quotients
- Gastrointestinal function- physical activity may decrease colon cancer because physical movement decreases the time food is in the colon and rectum
- Metabolism- physical activity increases the body’s metabolism, strength training increases muscle mass which eevates metabolism as well
- Musculo-skeletal system- most sedentary older adults have lost a large amount of strength and muscle mass by age 70.this loss of muscle is responsible for many older adults in losing their ability to maintain their independence
It appears that regular exercise benefits everything from head to toe and from the inside out. It now appears that exercise/physical activity can be used to prevent or control a condition or rehab or restore a condition.
Whereas the effects of sedentary lifestyle causes:
Decreased physical work capacity
Negative nitrogen and protein balance
Contraction of connective tissues
Loss of self-esteem
When physical inactivity is coupled with disability and aging, the result is more functional loss than would be predicted by disability alone. the greater the loss in functional capacity, the greater the loss of independence in activities of daily living!!!
No one is too old to enjoy the benefits of regular physical activity. Consider the many ways exercise can improve your life — starting today!