Cycling CME

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Filtering by Tag: Physical Activity

Get America Moving!

Get Moving America!

The Department of Health and Human Services published the second edition of, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This edition has the updated recommendations for physical activity for the first time in ten years. As they noted in their report, the main recommendation is, “Get Moving America”. The guidelines have many of the key points as first outlined in 2008; however, studies show that only 20% of Americans meet those recommendations for activity.

While the guidelines are similar to 2008, they do include areas with new research demonstrating evidence for the health benefits of increased physical activity. The studies showed that increased physical activity improved health and weight status in young children, improved cognition in youth, reduced risk of cancer at additional sites, more brain health benefits, improved sleep, reduction in falls in the elderly and improved quality of life.

One of the newer areas of emphasis includes the importance of increasing movement in the lives of the sedentary, even if in very short increments. The previous message was using at least 10-minute increments of aerobic activity toward the goal of 150 minutes per week. The message in the 2018 guidelines is that all movement is helpful. For individuals who are very sedentary, even adding light intensity activity reduces all-cause mortality, decreases cardiovascular disease and reduces incidence of type 2 Diabetes.

The guidelines also review a summary of the literature on promoting physical activity and note the following: individual level interventions by medical providers can increase the amount of physical activity in youth and adults especially when based on behavioral change theories. Therefore, the message from providers must include increasing physical activity. In addition, other research shows that multi-component school based programs can be effective and improving the built environment is essential to increase safe physical activity.

At Cycling CME, we believed strongly in the importance of physical activity in the treatment and prevention of chronic disease as well as improving quality of life. As medical providers, we have an obligation to encourage and guide others to make physical activity an integral part of their lives. Have an active day.

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References:

Piercy, KL, et al. The physical activity guidelines for Americans. JAMA. 2018

Strength Exercise as Vital as Aerobic Exercise for Health!

As discussed many times here and elsewhere, there is a well-established connection between regular physical activity and reductions in mortality, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many cancers.  While many early studies emphasized the importance of aerobic exercise, strength-promoting exercises have become an integral part of most physical activity guidelines over the last 10 years.  Over this last decade, there has been mounting evidence for the benefits of strength training independent of aerobic exercise.  One of the most important examples is the reduction of type 2 DM with strength training.

A recent study by Stamatakis, et al, added very interesting research to the benefits of strength training. In a very large study from Scotland and England, they demonstrated a 23% reduction in mortality and 31% reduction in cancer mortality with anystrength promoting exercise.  In addition, they found that gym-based exercise and home-based exercise were both beneficial. They conclude that adherence to strength exercise is at least as important and aerobic exercise.

Although I believe in “the best exercise for you is the one that you will do”, it is important because of multiple health benefits to include both strength and aerobic training in our recommendations to patients. We should always include both types of physical activity to our patients in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases.

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Stamatakis, E, et al. Does strength promoting exercise confer unique health benefits? A pooled analysis of eleven population cohorts with all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular mortality endpoints. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2017.