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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Patella


Updated: Mar 31

We have all heard of “prevention” but what is “prevention fitness”? In the beginning of the “fitness craze” that is all it seemed to be – a “fad”.  But fifty years later the realization of fitness generating over 100 billion dollars globally confirms it is here to stay.  The benefits of fitness as a prevention to many medical concerns confirms how important it is.  Research confirms fitness as a critical factor for prevention of many medical conditions: diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stress and anxiety disorders, aging, arthritis, bone density issues, mental health and almost every disease you can think of.  Our bodies are made to move, and a sedentary lifestyle only intensifies a boiling pot of potential risk factors. Hopkins, Harvard, Cleveland Clinic, National Institute on Health…are all telling us a sedentary lifestyle is dangerous to your health.  Let’s look at several areas fitness is a prevention - starting with the obvious. COVID DISEASE

Research indicates the less healthy you are the higher the risk of a devastating impact of COVID.  Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, poor immune system, lung disease – these all put you at a higher risk of contracting and not recovering from COVID. PREVENTION: A healthy diet resulting in a healthy weight and stronger immune system are a combatant to the disease.  Physical activity strengthens your heart, lungs, and immune system.  Harvard, Medical News Today and other research organizations state a healthier lifestyle and stronger immune system reduces the impact of the disease.  Those who are physically active are less at risk of fatality and more serious effects of the disease through a stronger immune system. HEART DISEASE

The American Heart Association reports that as little as 30 minutes a day can prevent heart disease – combined with a healthy diet you are good to go!  The heart if the most important muscle in the body.  It delivers blood to every area of your body bringing with it critical nutrients to keep your organs and tissue healthy as well as oxygen and removing carbon dioxide.  Heart disease is the number one cause of deaths in the United States. Over 280,000 are preventable through prevention.  Isn’t 30 minutes a day worth your life? DIABETES

While type 1 diabetes is genetic it is manageable through prevention of fitness and a healthy diet.  Type two diabetes is preventable through fitness and a healthy diet.  Over 450 million people worldwide have diabetes with type two diabetes making up over 90% of the cases.  This is preventable through maintaining a normal healthy body weight, exercise and a healthy diet.

AGING DISORDERS As we age our body slows down and the less we move we lose the ability to move.  This adds to weight gain which contributes to diabetes and heart disease. We lose strength affecting our balance and our ability to care for ourselves.  It also impacts our cognitive thinking and confidence. Thousands of our aging population face falls resulting in broken bones or worse. With a healthy diet and fitness program we fend off many aging diseases that comes with a sedentary lifestyle. DEPRESSION AND LACK OF SLEEP

Depression, sleeping disorders and mental health issues are on the rise.  Depression is a common serious medical issue that negatively affects how you feel, think and act.   The Mayo Clinic, National Institute on Health and Psychology Today all report exercise is a natural combatant for depression and Anxiety.  With exercise you release endorphins that enhance your sense of well-being and takes your mind away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety.  Fitness and a healthy diet combat each of these by providing our body and mind with the necessary release from stress and anxiety that interferes with sleep. By incorporating a simple but effective fitness program in your life, 20-30 minutes daily is what is suggested by the American Council on Exercise and American College of Sports Medicine to name a few, done 4-5 days a week, you are well on your way to a healthier, more balanced life and well-being.  Including fitness are prevention steps against any pre-disposed family history conditions you may be subject to, lifestyle related disease you may be working your way towards with poor eating and sedentary habits, and, generally increasing a much better quality of life for you and your family. Cheryl Patella, M.S., CPT, CLF

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