Is Exercise Medicine?
By: Brandi Kinard, PTA
The answer is simple... Yes! Exercise is medicine. But it is also so much more. Participating in regular exercise is beneficial for the mind, body, and general health.
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce the perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling, similar to that of morphine.
Exercise aids in weight management and/or weight loss. More physical activity increases the number of calories your body uses for energy. The calories “burned”, in conjunction with reducing calorie intake through food, create a calorie deficit, resulting in weight loss. Evidence shows that the only way to maintain weight loss is through regular physical activity.
Exercise can reduce the risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, many types of cancer, depression, and anxiety, as well as dementia.
Get the support of your friends and family. Encourage them to get active with you. This can help with being more accountable. Plan ahead and establish physical activity during times when you are most energetic. Start slowly and add time, frequency, or intensity each week.
Everyone can benefit from physical activity, regardless of age, gender, race and ethnicity, health condition, shape, or size. Physical Therapists and Physical Therapist Assistants are trained in establishing safe, individualized exercise programs. Talk to your doctor about obtaining a referral for Physical Therapy today!