Regular physical activity is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. In the 1980s and 1990s, a large body of epidemiologic and clinical evidence linked regular physical activity with a variety of health benefits.
Although the strength of the data supporting these associations varies from condition to condition, physical inactivity is clearly a major contributor to premature mortality and morbidity from chronic disease.
[...] CANCER Regular physical activity and physical fitness have been associated with lower mortality from cancer in longitudinal studies. Although data for most specific cancers are limited, studies of occupational and leisure time activity indicate that physical activity is protective against colon cancer. The evidence is strongly suggestive of a reduced risk of breast cancer in regularly active women, but this relationship is complicated and may be modified by age, body weight, and patterns of activity over the lifespan. The protective effects may be mediated by reduced intestinal transit time (colon cancer) and altered endocrine function. [...]
[...] Physical activity also may exacerbate medical conditions such as asthma, and irregular exercise may make insulin dosing more challenging in diabetic patients. Nevertheless, most individuals with underlying disease or disability still may exercise safely if appropriate precautions are taken. Medical Evaluation Appropriate medical evaluation depends on the individual's age and health status and the type of activity undertaken. Individuals who are free of disease and who are initiating moderate-intensity physical activity, such as regular walking, do not require medical evaluation. [...]
[...] evidence linked regular physical activity with a variety of health benefits. Although the strength of the data supporting these associations varies from condition to condition, physical inactivity is clearly a major contributor to premature mortality and morbidity from chronic disease. The economic consequences of inactivity also are significant. The direct medical costs resulting from physical inactivity in the United States are estimated to be greater than $76 billion annually. To reduce the burden of disease resulting from physical inactivity, physicians should assess the activity levels of their patients routinely and provide appropriate counseling. [...]
[...] Appropriate physical activity should be a part of the management and rehabilitation of most patients with CHD. WEIGHT CONTROL Individuals who are regularly active tend to weigh less and have a lower percentage of body fat than do sedentary individuals despite the fact that physically active persons are consistently observed to consume more calories than sedentary individuals. Regular physical activity increases caloric expenditure indirectly by raising the resting metabolic rate after activity and directly by the activity itself. A combined program of diet and regular physical activity seems to be the most effective means of maintaining ideal body weight. [...]
[...] Assessment of epidemiologic and clinical data on the health aspects of physical activity reveals that many of the health benefits attributable to physical activity are associated with the total quantity of activity performed even if the activity is discontinuous and of only moderate intensity. Moderate activities, such as brisk walking, gardening, and stair climbing, on a daily basis can have major health impacts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, Surgeon General, and American College of Sports Medicine currently recommend that American adults participate in 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most and preferably all days of the week. [...]
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