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Exercise is medicine: Latest research

There is a fountain of youth, millions have discovered it, the secret to feeling better and living longer, it's called..................  Staying Active !

It's there in black and white in some of the most prestigious medical journals in the world; Regular exercise not only can make you look and feel better, but it can also prevent and treat almost every imaginable disease whilst increasing your lifespan.

Numerous scientific studies show that exercise can play a significant role in preventing diseases and chronic conditions including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and more.

The following research results aren't just gleaned from minor studies using small samplings monitored for limited periods but are wide-ranging, long term projects some lasting more than 70 years using huge populations covering all demographics and ages.

Such renowned and ambitous Australian and International research projects such as the Harvard Alumni Health studies are included here as well as worldwide findings published in the leading medical journals by the recognised experts in the industry.

Please share this latest research and information with others so that everyone can understand the many health benefits of an active lifestyle and how regular exercise is the proven single most effective action in fighting illness, disease and the ill effects of ageing.


1. Men and women aged 65 years and older who exercise have a lower risk of losing mobility.

Child 139          One of the fears of ageing is being unable to perform simple physical tasks such as walking up and down stairs. A four year study that monitored 6,981 men and women found that increased physical activity fostered a significant improvement in independent mobility.


2. Working out for as little as 15 minutes three days a week reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's by 40%.

Child 137           This six year study determined that men and women aged 65 and older dramatically lessened their chances of developing the heart-breaking conditions of dementia and Alzheimer's by maintaining regular exercise as a part of their weekly routine.


3. Vigorous physical activity reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 23 - 46%.

Child 138          Researches followed a large population sampling of 70,102 women aged 40-65 years for eight years. The study found that depending on the type of physical exercise, the women could reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes by almost half. Walking was judged to be on the lower end of activity yielding about a 23% drop whilst more vigorous aerobic type exercise provided even greater benefits.


4. The rate of coronary heart disease is 150% lower among women who exercise regularly as compared with women who maintain a sedentary lifestyle.

Child 123          This important Nurse's health study collected data on over 88,393 women aged 34-59 who were monitored for 20 years. Those who exercised regularly for more than 3.5 hours per week enjoyed enormous benefits in reduced heart disease risk compared to women who did not exercise at all


5. Men who are very fit have a 68% lower risk of stroke mortality than unfit men.

Child 129          The higher the level of fitness the lower the risk of stroke according to research which followed 16,878 men aged 40-87 years for 10 years. As with other studies, this one gauged levels of fitness using a maximal treadmill exercise test. Even slightly fit men enjoyed a 20% lower risk of death from stroke.


6. Regular exercise reduces breast cancer risk by 37%.

Child 8          Regular exercise was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer for 5,624 women aged 20-54 years who were studied for nearly 14 years. Compared to women who didn't exercise, subjects who engaged in higher levels of activity lowered their chances of getting breast cancer by more than 33%.


7. Participation in regular aerobic and strength training classes slows the rate of bone loss in postmenopausal woman.

Child 22          Regular participation in weight training sessions and aerobic based group exercise classes enhanced regional bone mineral density for 719 postmenopausal women. This study which lasted for over 20 years is very significant since this population group is particularly susceptible to osteoporosis with nearly half of this age group suffering from osteoporosis in the western world.


8. Physical activity reduces colon cancer risk by 47%.

Child 29          This study which lasted for six years involved over 7,723 men aged 40-75 years who cut their chances of getting colon cancer nearly in half simply by engaging in regular physical exercise.


9. Active women aged 54 - 79 years have a 30% less chance of suffering from incontinence than less active women.

Child 10           It may not be life threatening but incontinence can be an embarrassing burden for older Australians. A study of 2,355 women, who were monitored for two years, showed that chances of suffering this affliction can be significantly reduced with regular exercise including walking.


10. Brain function improves for older women who walk only 1.5 hours per week.

Child 1          Cognitive decline as a consequence of aging is getting more attention now that the baby boomers are entering their golden years. This study of 18,766 women aged 70-81 years not only revealed that exercise can increase brain power, but it also reduces the risk of cognitive decline by 20% in those who exercise.


11. The amount a man exercises is proportionate to the reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A direct correlation was discovered between how much a person exercises and the reduced risk of developing diabetes.

Child 88        This five year study followed 21,271 men aged 40-84 years and discovered that engaging in vigorous exercise once per week reduced the risk of diabetes by 23%. Working out two to four times per week reduced the risk by 38% and exercising five times per week reduced the risk by 42%.


12. Habitual physical activity reduces depressive symptoms and improves emotional well-being.

BB 003       This comprehensive research monitored 5,451 men and 1,277 women aged 20-88 years and discovered a correlation between cardio-respiratory fitness, reduced depression and enhanced emotional well-being. The participants engaged in regular aerobic type exercise like brisk walking and running during the study.


Source:     "Physical activity among healthy older women," Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 109, 721-7, March 2007. "Maintaining mobility into later life," American Journal of Epidemiology, 137, 858-69, April 15, 1993. "Physical activity including walking and cognitive function in older woman," Jama, 292, 1454-61, Sept 1994. "A longitudinal study of cardio-respiratory fitness and cognitive function in healthy older adults," Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 51, 459-65, April 2003. "Effect of physical activity on functional status among older middle-age adults with arthritis," Arthritis Care and Research, 53, 879-885, Dec 7 2005. "Physical fitness and all-cause mortality. A prospective study of healthy men and women," Journal of the American Medical Association, 262, 2395-401. Nov 3 1989. "Physical activity, all cause mortality and longevity of college alumni," New England Journal of Medicine, 314, 605-13, March 1986. "Walking compared with vigorous exercise for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in women" New England Journal of Medicine, 347, 716-25, Sept 5, 02."Obesity as compared with physical activity in predicting risk of coronary heart disease in women," Circulation, 113, 499-506, Jan 06. "Physical activity and life expectancy with and without diabetes: Life table analyses of the Framington heart study," Diabetes Care, 29, 38-43, Jan, 06.