Moving for Wellness
Along with being linked to obesity, being sedentary causes a whole host of serious yet highly preventable health problems including the following:
• Increased insulin resistance, which is a precursor to the onset of type 2 diabetes, which in the United States, India, China, Mexico, Brazil, and many other countries is at epidemic proportions.It’s estimated by the CDC that more than one- third of all Americans suffer from unidentified insulin resistance.
• Higher rates of heart attacks and other cardiovascular- related diseases.The Nurses’ Health Study found that women who were physically active for three or more hours a week cut their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50 percent.Active men cut their risk for stroke by two- thirds and their risk of heart attack by one- third.
• Immune-deficiency issues and difficulty with keeping airborne illnesses, such as colds and flus, at bay.
• Greater risk for depression and other mental health issues.
• Bone health diminishes without the regular exercise needed to maintain adequate mineral content and strength.The same is true for muscle health.Both degrade more rapidly among the sedentary than among those who are active.
• Cognitive decline and the onset of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
• General physiological aging on all levels, from cellular and vascular, to increased organ deterioration.
What does exercise do to us that makes it so beneficial? Does it change our bodies and affect us at a cellular level?An extensive body of research says yes. In fact, exercise impacts ALL the cancer hallmarks and especially sustaining proliferative signaling, metabolism, immune function, and inflammation.
Physical activity down regulates, or turns off, genes that promote tumor growth and up regulates, or turns on, genes that help prevent tumor growth.Meanwhile, evidence is mounting that exercise can have effects within the tumor microenvironment, modifying key regulatory pathways.While more research is needed to draw a direct causal relationship between exercise and tumor development, the early indications suggest that exercise could help cancer survivors live longer, enjoy life more, and avoid a recurrence. Notably, no studies have found adverse reactions in cancer survivors who exercised. So, while the extent of benefits is still being debated, there is little or no downside to engaging in daily exercise, even, and perhaps especially, if you are a cancer survivor.