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Exercise

Exercise: Introduction

Exercise, or physical activity, is critical to achieving and maintaining optimal health and physical fitness for people of all ages. Exercise is also key to helping people to feel better and live longer, more independent and productive lives. Exercise is an important preventive strategy in minimizing the risk of developing many serious conditions and diseases. These include obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and some types of cancer.

A regular exercise plan can also increase mental alertness, reduce stress, improve coordination, help to control appetite, and strengthen muscles and joints. By increasing metabolism, the rate in which the body burns calories, exercise is one vital element in maintaining a healthy weight. It can have a positive impact on body image, self esteem, and mood. Regular exercise can also help elevate mood and reduce feelings of depression by increasing the body's supply of endorphins, naturally occurring chemicals in the body that increase the feeling of well being.

There are three basic types of exercise, and an ideal fitness program usually incorporates a combination of all three. Types of exercise include flexibility, strengthening, and cardiovascular exercise. For more information on types of exercise, refer to types of exercise.

Recommendations for the amount of exercise a person should get in order to be therapeutic or beneficial vary depending on age, general physical condition, medical history, and other factors. Specialized exercises, such as in physical therapy, are also used as treatments. For more information on exercise as a treatment, refer to treatment.

Exercise produces certain physiological changes or signs that can be similar to symptoms of certain diseases and conditions. These include shortness of breath, palpitations, rapid heart rate, sweating (diaphoresis), and dehydration. For more information on diseases and conditions that can mimic the signs of exercise, refer to misdiagnosis of exercise.

It can be difficult to stick to a regular exercise plan, but people who start with something they truly enjoy, such as walking the dog, and build on that can be successful. Other tips include creating an exercise program that the whole family can participate in or one that includes friends who can create a more fun and social atmosphere and serve as support systems. Many successful exercisers enjoy playing a sport, such as golf or softball, and are motivated to build and stick to a comprehensive exercise program that helps them improve in that sport. For example, a golfer or softball player can improve their swing with flexibility exercises and strength training and improve their endurance through aerobic exercises. ...more »

Exercise: Exercise is vital to achieving and maintaining optimal health and physical fitness. It is also key to helping people to feel better and live longer, more independent and productive lives. Exercise is an important preventive strategy in minimizing the risk of developing many serious conditions and diseases. These include obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and some types of cancer. A regular exercise plan can also increase mental alertness, reduce stress, improve coordination, help to control appetite, and strengthen muscles and joints. By increasing metabolism, the rate in which the body burns calories, exercise is one vital element in maintaining a healthy weight. It can have a positive impact on body image, self esteem, and mood. Current research is finding that there is also a link between exercise and mood and depression. Regular exercise can help elevate mood and reduce feelings of depression by increasing the body's supply of endorphins, naturally occurring chemicals in the body that increase the feeling of well being.

Exercise is important for people of all ages and has been found to be of benefit in even the oldest adults. The goal is to make exercise a regular part of your life by making it safe, effective, and easy to maintain. It can be difficult to stick to a regular exercise plan, but people who start with something they truly enjoy, such as walking the dog, and build on that can be successful. Other tips include creating an exercise program that the whole family can participate in or one that includes friends who can create a more fun and social atmosphere and serve as support systems. Many successful exercisers enjoy playing a sport, such as golf or softball, and are motivated to build and stick to a comprehensive exercise program that helps them improve in that sport. For example, a golfer or softball player can improve their swing with flexibility exercises and strength training and improve their endurance through aerobic exercises. ...more »

Exercise: Treatments

Recommendations for the amount, type and intensity of exercise vary, but it is generally recognized that 30 minutes of physical activity a day will result in many health benefits for many people. To be of optimal health benefit, it is important to consult with your primary care provider before starting an exercise program. Accessing the expertise of a professional certified personal fitness ...more treatments »

Exercise: Misdiagnosis

Certain diseases and conditions have symptoms that can mimic the changes in vital signs and other signs and symptoms brought on by exercise. These signs and symptoms include shortness of breath, palpitations, rapid heart rate, sweating (diaphoresis), and dehydration. Diseases and conditions with similar symptoms include arrhythmia, COPD, ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Exercise

Wrongly Diagnosed with Exercise?

Exercise: Related Patient Stories

Exercise: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Exercise.

Exercise: Complications

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Causes of Exercise

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More information about causes of Exercise:

Disease Topics Related To Exercise

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Research about Exercise

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Exercise: Broader Related Topics

Exercise Message Boards

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User Interactive Forums

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Definitions of Exercise:

Activity that requires physical or mental exertion, especially when performed to develop or maintain fitness. - (Source - Diseases Database)

The activity of exerting your muscles in various ways to keep fit; "the doctor recommended regular exercise"; "he did some exercising"; "the physical exertion required by his work kept him fit" - (Source - WordNet 2.1)

 

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