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Exercise and ailments: How exercise can help prevent disease

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The benefits of routine exercise are plenty. Daily exercise can improve mood, help reduce stress and make it easier for men and women to maintain healthy weights.
Regular exercise also can help men and women combat or reduce their risk for various ailments, including some potentially deadly diseases.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue. Though post-menopausal women are most susceptible to osteoporosis, anyone can get the condition, which can lead to fractures and other bodily injuries. But routine weight-bearing exercises, including strength training, walking and jogging, can strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis and bone loss. A Nurses' Health Study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who walked for four or more hours per week had 41 percent fewer hip fractures than women who walked less than one hour per week.
Back pain
People experiencing back pain may feel that inactivity is the best approach to overcoming it. But prolonged inactivity may only exacerbate back pain. Men and women dealing with back pain should always consult a physician for the best approach to alleviating their pain. Don't be surprised if, during such consultations, your physician prescribes certain back exercises. According to, a Web-based resource for back and neck pain sufferers developed by a multi-specialty group of medical professionals, certain back exercises can distribute nutrients into the disc space and soft tissues in the back to keep the discs, muscles, ligaments, and joints healthy.
Heart disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in United States, while Statistics Canada notes it is the second-leading cause of death among Canadians. Regular exercise can greatly reduce a person's risk of developing heart disease by strengthening the heart, lowering blood pressure and helping the heart function more efficiently. Even moderate physical activity can have a profound impact on heart health.
Type 2 diabetes
A joint study from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association found that participation in regular physical activity can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, a potentially deadly condition, the prevalence of which has increased considerably over the last several decades. The American Diabetes Association recommends that people who already have type 2 diabetes check their blood glucose levels before and after exercise to see how their bodies react to different activities. Understanding such reactions can help people with type 2 diabetes prevent their blood glucose levels from getting too high or too low.
Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle. But while regular exercise can instantly improve your quality of life, it also can reduce your risk for a host of potentially deadly ailments.