Exercise and physical activity for health conditions
Leading a physically active lifestyle can have a significant impact on the well-being of people with certain health conditions. Exercise is beneficial for physical and mental health and may improve the quality of life for people in all stages. Physical activities are sometimes defined as those activities that increase your heart rate and cause you to breathe more deeply. This includes everyday activities such as walking, gardening or dancing, as well as sports and exercises with the specific aim of improving fitness
Benefits of exercise and physical activity. These include:
Improving the health of the heart and blood vessels, which can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Reducing the risk of some types of cancer,(particularly breast and colon cancer), stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Improving physical fitness – maintaining stronger muscles and flexible joints can help people maintain independence for longer.
Improving the ability to dress, clean, cook and perform other daily tasks, (as these may be performed more effectively if someone is fitter or more supple.
Helping to keep bones strong and reducing the risk of osteoporosis, a disease that affects the bones, making them weak and more likely to break.
Improving cognition – recent studies have shown that exercise may improve memory and slow down mental decline.
Providing opportunities for social interaction and reducing the feeling of isolation
Reducing the risk of falls by improving strength and balance
Increasing self esteem
It is important to consider the age, abilities and type of health condition someone has, as well as their needs and preferences, when they undertake physical activity. Exercise adaptation will have to be considered as well.
People who have not taken part in any regular physical activity for some time, or those with certain health issues, should consider seeking medical advice. Talk to a GP, physiotherapist or relevant health professional before starting any new exercise or physical activity.
Any health conditions might not stop someone from participating in exercise. In fact, many health conditions may be improved by exercise, but medical advice is recommended.