Health and Fitness Tip: Exercise is Medicine

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Most people know that participating in nearly any kind of physical activity is healthier than not exercising at all. Doctors agree, and now the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed, with its recent decision concerning the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Regardless of your political leanings and your personal feelings about the ACA, research shows that exercise can keep people from getting sick, and it can rehabilitate people who are already sick or injured.

This recent article on the ACA features experts from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), who believe that exercise is “the most powerful tool” for fighting illness in the U.S. Furthermore, according to doctors, “…physical inactivity will have caused about 7 million premature deaths in the country just in this decade.” Still need more exercise motivation?

The standard economic and public health arguments assert that treatment costs more than prevention in the long run, and that you can do your part now to improve your health and fitness, preventing more than 40 potentially life threatening diseases and chronic conditions. This can be accomplished by exercising regularly, as part of a healthier overall lifestyle.

Studies have demonstrated the ability of exercise to treat conditions ranging from diabetes to mental illness. Exercise is, practically speaking, the best proven preventative medicine, as well as an “economic necessity.” According to the same article:

“…[L]ocal and national governments around the world are starting to become aware that there is an enormous impact on the bottom line if people are kept healthy. Between $233 and $381 billion are spent dealing with preventable diseases which would not now be affecting people if they were physically active.”

The economic impact is not limited to just the costs directly related to health care; it encompasses other problems such as lost worker productivity, which indirectly affects the economy.

The good news is that exercising doesn’t have to cost you very much. Walking, playing outside, and working out at home are just a few inexpensive ways to stay in shape. And, with a great fitness app, exercise can be fun too. Get started today!

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