“Walking in man’s best medicine.” –Hippocrates (Father of Medicine, 466-370 BC)
“Exercise is the best preserver of health”. –Nicolas Andry (Father of Orthopedics, 1743)
“Football (Soccer) is medicine!” — Title of recent article in British Journal of Sports Medicine
The health benefits of exercise have been known and promoted since ancient times, as evidenced by the previous quotes. In our time, the number of people who enjoy all types of exercise is great. However, many others have sedentary lifestyles, causing an epidemic of obesity and other conditions of inactivity and deconditioning. These conditions include heart disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and osteoporosis.
A physically active lifestyle has numerous health benefits. Exercise keeps blood pressure at more healthy levels. Heart function is improved. Blood sugar and blood lipids, which lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, respectively, are lowered by exercise. Joint mobility is improved by exercise, preventing or improving osteoarthritis. Muscle strength, flexibility, and function are maintained by exercise. Exercise increases calcification of bones, preventing osteoporosis. Lung function and better breathing are improved by aerobic activity.
In addition to these physical benefits of exercise, there are psychological benefits. Maintaining proper weight and an attractive physique enhances self-esteem. Also, exercise causes the brain to release endorphins and other “feel-good” chemicals, which improve mood and prevent depression.
The most important decision in developing or maintaining an active lifestyle is choosing of activity that you enjoy, and that your body can comfortably do. The doctors at Melbourne Podiatry Associates can provide guidance on beginning or changing an exercise program. Information on shoe gear, stretches, and injury prevention can be provided. Call for your appointment and get healthy!