Physical activity encouraged to benefit health
May is “exercise is medicine month”.
This is an initiative launched by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) in November 2007.
It is time for everyone to recognise, emphasise and celebrate the valuable health benefits of exercise on an international level including us here in South Africa.
“As a member of the Exercise is Medicine community we at Blaauw and Partners Biokinetics are committed to encourage physical activity for the health benefits for all South Africans.”
“Physical inactivity is a fast growing public health problem and contributes to a variety of chronic diseases and health complications including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, depression, arthritis and osteoporosis,” says Becky Blaauw from Blaauw and Partners Biokinetics.
“In addition to improving a patient’s overall health, increasing physical activity has proven effective in the treatment and prevention of chronic disease.”
Regular physical activity at the correct intensity, reduces the risk of heart disease by 40%, it lowers the risk of a stroke by 27%, it reduces the incidence of diabetes by almost 50%, it reduces the incidence of high blood pressure by almost 50%, it can reduce mortality and risk of recurrent breast cancer by almost 50%, it can lower the risk of colon cancer by over 60%, it can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimers disease by one-third and it can decrease depression as effectively as Prozac or behavioural therapy.
According to the ACSM, able patients are advised to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity and 10 minutes of stretching and light muscle training five days per week.
A survey conducted by ACSM found four out of 10 physicians talk to their patients about the importance of exercise and nearly two thirds of patients would be more interested in exercising to stay healthy if advised by their doctor.
“We invite the members of the community to take part in this international focus on celebrating ‘exercise is medicine month’ by becoming more physically active.
“If you already have many of these problems it is not too late. You can still better your quality of life by doing physical activity correctly and in a controlled environment,” says Becky.