Prescribing exercise for chronic disease management not only reduces symptoms of or prevents disease, but results in many positive side effects. From stress reduction and the support of immune system health to reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol, when used moderately, exercise can not only support physical health, but positively influence our mental health. There is a growing body of research that not only examines the relationship between exercise and specific health issues, but may also suggests particular exercises that may benefit more than others.
Below is a list of twelve such suggestions that may serve as tools for prevention or treatment. Like anything else, it is important to consult with a medical professional before establishing an exercise program and, if given the green light, a certified personal trainer or kinesiologist for advice on exercise programming…
1. Exercise for Back Health
For those of us who suffer from chronic back pain we may initially shy away from exercise fearing it may do more harm than good. In fact, habitual exercise can help alleviate muscle stiffness, weakness, and strengthen the muscles that help to support the spine. To avoid further injury to the back, it is important to pay specific attention to the exercise performed.
Rehabilitation specialists suggest a series of stretching exercises to increase flexibility of the muscles that support the spine (i.e. muscles in the back, legs, buttocks, and around the spine). Additionally, strengthening exercises that target the core (abdominal muscles) and muscles supporting the spine will also help to prevent further damage. When considering cardiovascular exercise, low-impact exercise (i.e. swimming and cycling) will help to support back health and decrease the risk for further injury.