Healthy Aging- Exercise as Medicine

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Exercise – It’s new and improved.

There is a new philosophy going around these days concerning exercise. We are used to the message that exercise is important to maintaining health and good function of your body, particularly as protection against the deterioration that comes with aging. But it has always taken second place to treatment, often being viewed as damaging to recovery because of the stress it places on the body.

These days some practicioners thing that exercise is important to recovery and not an impediment. The new thinking is that stress from exercise can help with the healing process. Studies suggest that exercise can reduce the recurrence of breast cancer by 40 percent when patients exercise although further study is necessary to confirm those results. Exercise can help the body deal with the stress of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery and works on two levels- physical and emotional.

There are also benefit for patients with Parkinson’s who exercise. Although the reasons are speculation so far, patients often show reduced symptoms with exercise. In short, exercise proves beneficial for people with health issues. Rather than making recovery harder, it complements other treatments and assists in recovery.

So when illness hits, take your medicine.  Exercise!

It is human nature to pull back when disease or infirmity hits; to reduce activity and save the body from stress but evidence shows that pushing the body with physical exercise helps maintain the necessary strength of both body and mind to survive illness and the damage from traumatic treatments like chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Patients who exercise achieve better results than patients who avoid it.

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