Chronic diseases are a major cause of death in many countries worldwide and various prevention methods have been rolled out to the people. In many cases, we are advised that regular exercise can help reduce the chances of getting infected with these diseases. In as much as that is true, another detail is often overlooked by many; these diseases can also be manageable through exercise. Exercising does not only help keep your weight and body size in check but also helps strengthen your body in readiness to fight the chronic diseases that will be discussed below. Let’s jump right in.
- Heart disease
While exercising, one definitely feels the impact based on their heartbeats. This is because the heart is pumping more blood to your body which is in dire need of oxygen at that time. When this happens, your heart is actually being exercised as well, making the heart muscles stronger. This prevents instances such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which are the major causes of heart diseases. According to the American Heart Association, improved blood flow in the heart reduces the chances of getting and managing coronary artery disease (CAD). Due to increased oxygen circulation from the improved blood flow, plaque buildup in the arteries is also prevented. However, it is advised that if you have markers of heart disease, you should not intensify exercising rapidly. Check with your doctor on what types of exercise are good for you.
Type 2 diabetes is very much preventable altogether with regular exercising and a proper diet. Physical exercise enhances insulin sensitivity making the hormone do much better in lowering your blood sugar levels. With an enhanced insulin sensitivity, there is better glucose control and this will even help in preventing other chronic diseases related to diabetes such as heart disease and hypertension. It is entirely possible to control your blood sugar levels with regular exercise before you develop type 2 diabetes or even insulin resistance.
Cancer is one of the most dreaded chronic diseases in the world, probably because there is not a specific curative drug yet. While it is not always easy to pinpoint where or how a person got cancer, one of the most obvious reasons is attributed to lifestyle behaviours. As put by the National Cancer Institute, some certain types of cancer can easily be prevented through regular exercising. However, they are not proven to be fully preventable, but at least one can lower the risks of getting them. Breast, endometrial and colon cancers are said to be very much preventable through exercising. So far, there is empirical evidence supporting the impact of exercising on these three types of cancer, however, regular exercising and leading a healthier lifestyle can help lower the risks of getting other types of cancer.
Regular exercising can help improve muscle strength and reduce joint stiffness. Exercising regularly will lower the chances of getting arthritis as your joints will be in a better situation and so easy to fight off arthritis. Furthermore, regular exercises help you maintain weight, which is normally one of the biggest hindrances for treating arthritis. Lack of exercise will give the disease a safe haven to accelerate and affect other parts.
Obesity is an often overlooked condition, which is easily treatable, yet contributes to a high number of preventable deaths each year. There is a famous quote of a doctor telling a kid, ‘Obesity doesn’t run in your family, the problem is no one in your family runs!’ Quite harsh but true. Regular exercising can help prevent obesity and even manage it. Being obese is a gateway to getting other diseases which are closely related to it such as; type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, and even certain types of cancers which are majorly attributed to having extra weight. Achieving an ideal body by obese people doesn’t mean getting thinner or getting abs, but just having a healthier body. One can start with simple exercises such as walking or riding a bicycle for a few miles a day when trying to achieve a healthier body, managing obesity.
Also known as fibrositis, this disease affects millions of people all over the world. This is a disease which is characterized by chronic body pains, fatigue, depression, irregular sleeping patterns, and even memory loss. Regular aerobic exercises, stretching, and balance training have been proven to help reduce the pain associated with this condition. Other light exercises such as Tai Chi, have been known to help reduce the pain, especially during flare-ups, reducing their intensity and number of times they occur.
Most people who get asthma attacks usually discourage themselves from performing any exercises as they believe it would make them run short of breath or even have other attacks. Well, the truth is, regular exercising for an asthma victim is very important as it comes along with a number of benefits. Some of the benefits exercising has to asthma victims are;
- It strengthens your lungs, hence reducing instances of them not performing well.
- Exercising makes it harder for asthma attacks to be triggered by certain things such as cold and coughs. This is because exercising boosts your immune system.
- Stressed or depressed people have higher chances of getting asthma attacks. Exercising regularly makes you feel good reducing chances of depression, hence lower risks of getting attacks.
Getting started with exercises
Just like for everything else, different exercise help prevent and manage different diseases. Depending on the type of condition you have, certain exercises need to be avoided as they might actually make things worse. If you have asthma, for example, make sure to always have your inhaler with you while exercising. If you have fibromyalgia or arthritis, focus on where the pain is and work on it. Always conduct research on what type of exercise is good enough to help prevent or manage a certain type of chronic condition.
You can start off with brisk walking in a park when the weather is pleasant. However, in Dubai, the weather is quite warm for at least 10 months. In such a case, hit Dubai mall or any nearby mall to walk in the sprawling air-conditioned space. If you want to try something more intensive then consult with your doctor. You may consider hiring a personal trainer, which is not very expensive anymore due to many freelance personal trainers in Dubai. There are many freelancing websites in the UAE. We came across Bawabba with quite a few personal trainers who would help you get great results. You may also join a nearby gym. Avoid joining a health club which is too far from home as it will deter you from going to the gym. If you have a health club in your building, as most buildings in Dubai now have a and a swimming pool as well, then no need to pay the hefty gym membership fees. Drink lots of water and consult with your doctor before you start.
In order to live a generally healthy life, regular exercising should be one of your priority areas of concern, apart from eating healthy of course. Always consult your doctor or physical therapist on what type of exercise you should conduct and at what intervals. Above all, stay healthy!