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 The Benefits of Clinical Exercise

Clinical exercise has a range of benefits and has been described by the Chief Medical Officer as a 'wonder drug'. It can benefit you if you have any of the following;

 

Cardiac rehab has long been recognised as an effective way to improve survival. In a large Dutch study the survival benefit was found to be up to 4 years. Additionally it;

~Reduces angina

~Improves cholesterol readings

~Reduces blood pressure (see below)

~Improves mental wellbeing (see below)

~Increases your chance of returning to work and  leisure activities

  • High blood pressure

A blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg is classed as hypertension. Exercise can;

~lower blood pressure by 5-7 mmHg and the effect lasts for up to 12 hours after each bout of exercise.

~Even small decreases in in blood pressure of 2 mmHg  reduces the risk of stroke by 14-17%

~These small decreases also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 6-9%

Both type I and type II benefit from clinical exercise. Benefits include;

~Improved insulin sensitivity which can lead to a reduction in medication

~Weight loss, which also increases insulin sensitivity

~Improved blood glucose control (type II)

~Decreased risk of developing cardiovascular disease

Exercise​ is effective at treating clinical symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.

~Some studies have found exercise to be as effective as medication and psychotherapy in treating depression

~Exercise can reduce long-term anxiety and just a single bout can reduce anxiety in the short-term

~Active people have fewer anxiety symptoms than inactive people

~People who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep deeper and for longer than non-exercisers

Exercise is key to building and maintaining bone mineral density and prevent falls. Specifically it 

~Slows down the ​rate that bone mineral density declines

~Improves muscle strength. Muscle weakness is the strongest risk factor for a fall

~Improves balance

While the advice use to be to rest if you have back pain, the consensus from 

health professionals is now to keep active. This can

~Help prevent lower back pain coming back

~Relieve chronic back pain

~Relieves muscular tension

People with all degrees of severity of chronic ​obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) benefit from clinical exercise. These benefits include;

~Reduction in breathlessness

~Reduction in fatigue

~Improved exercise capacity

~Increased sense of wellbeing

Exercise is an effective way to manage weight. If you are clinically overweight

 or obese (check here) the first 10-15 lbs you lose can lead to;

~20 mmHg reduction in diastolic blood pressure

~10 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure

~20% reduction in total mortality

~30% reduction in diabetes-related deaths

~40% reduction in obesity-related cancer deaths

Although​ osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis differ, the effects of clinical exercise are very similar. These include;

~Reduced joint pain and stiffness

~Increased flexibility

~Improved muscle strength

~Reduced disability

~Decreased risk of heart disease

~Improved moods and decreases risk of depression

 

In addition people with Rheumatoid Arthritis benefit from

~Reduction in fatigue 

~improvements in  sleep

~Improved immune function

 

Continuing to be physically active can lead to many benefits, specially it can;

~Relieve mild spasticity

~Reduce fatigue

~Improve sleep and appetite

~Improve bladder and bowel control

~Improve mobility

~Improve balance

~Relieve some types of pain

~Improve strength

  • Cancer 

Being ​physically active is important during every stage of cancer

~It can help maintain or improve the strength needed for performing everyday tasks without increasing fatigue

~It can combat fatigue associated with cancer and its treatment

~It can improve your mental resilience and wellbeing

~After cancer treatment  it can reduce the risk of cancer coming back. It lowers the risk of breast cancer returning by 40%

~During advanced cancer physical activity can help maintain independence and wellbeing 

 

References

Department of Health (2004). At least five a week. Evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health. London: Department of Health.

Level 4 Cardiac Exercise Instructor Training Module. (2016). 4th ed. Leeds: Human Kinetics Europe.

MS Trust. (2018). Keeping active. [online] Available at: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/exercise-and-ms [Accessed 19 Jun. 2018].

Back pain management