June 16, 2019
How can exercise improve a chronic condition?
If you have a chronic condition, regular exercise can help you manage symptoms and improve your health.
Aerobic exercise can help improve your heart health and endurance and aid in weight loss. High-intensity interval training is generally safe and effective for most people and can take less time. In high-intensity interval training, you alternate exercising at high levels of intensity and exercising at a less intense level for short periods of time. Even activities such as walking at higher intensities count.
Strength training can improve muscle strength and endurance, make it easier to do daily activities, slow disease-related declines in muscle strength, and provide stability to joints.
Flexibility exercises may help you to have optimal range of motion about your joints, so they can function best, and stability exercises may help reduce the risk of falls.
- Heart disease. Regular exercise can help improve your heart health. Recent studies have shown that interval training is often tolerated well in people with heart disease, and it can produce significant benefits.For people with high blood pressure, exercise can lower your risk of dying of heart disease and lower the risk of heart disease progressing.
- Diabetes. Regular exercise can help insulin more effectively lower your blood sugar level. Physical activity can also help you control your weight and boost your energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, exercise can lower your risk of dying of heart disease.
- Asthma. Often, exercise can help control the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.
- Back pain. Regular low-impact aerobic activities can increase strength and endurance in your back and improve muscle function. Abdominal and back muscle exercises (core-strengthening exercises) may help reduce symptoms by strengthening the muscles around your spine.
- Arthritis. Exercise can reduce pain, help maintain muscle strength in affected joints and reduce joint stiffness. It can also improve physical function and quality of life for people who have arthritis.
- Cancer. Exercise can improve the quality of life for people who’ve had cancer, and it can also improve their fitness. Exercise can also lower the risk of dying from breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.
- Dementia. Exercise can improve cognition in people with dementia, and people who are active on a regular basis are at less risk of dementia and cognitive impairment.Starting a regular exercise routine can be tough.To help you stick with your routine, consider exercising with a friend. You might also ask your doctor to recommend an exercise program for people who have your condition, perhaps through a local hospital, clinic or health club.
To stay motivated, choose activities that are fun, set realistic goals and celebrate your progress.
Share any concerns you might have about your exercise program — from getting started to keeping it up — with your doctor.