If you have a chronic disease – such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma or back or joint pain – exercise can have important health benefits. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise routine. He or she might have advice on what exercises are safe and any precautions you might need to take while exercising.
Here are some of the things you need to know about exercise and chronic disease.
• Heart disease. Regular exercise can help improve your heart health. Recent studies have shown that interval training is often tolerated well in people with heart disease, and it can produce significant benefits.
• For people with high blood pressure, exercise can lower your risk of dying of heart disease and lower the risk of heart disease progressing.
• Diabetes. Regular exercise can help insulin more effectively lower your blood sugar level. Physical activity can also help you control your weight and boost your energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, exercise can lower your risk of dying of heart disease.
• Asthma. Exercise often can help control the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.
• Back pain. Regular low-impact aerobic activities can increase strength and endurance in your back and improve muscle function. Abdominal and back muscle exercises – core-strengthening exercises – may help reduce symptoms by strengthening the muscles around your spine.
• Arthritis. Exercise can reduce pain, maintain muscle strength in joints and reduce joint stiffness. It can also improve physical function and quality of life for people who have arthritis.
• Cancer. Exercise can improve the quality of life for people who’ve had cancer, and it can also improve their fitness. Exercise can also lower the risk of dying from breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.
• Dementia. Exercise can improve cognition in people with dementia, and people who are active on a regular basis are at less risk of dementia and cognitive impairment.
Source: Courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.