Monday, 25 April 2016

Exercise Prescription For The Prevention And Treatment Of Disease

On top of my final semester of my Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy, I am currently doing a short, online course titled, "Exercise Prescription For The Prevention And Treatment Of Disease" via Trinity College in Dublin.

I've learnt quite a few interesting things so thought I'd share some of them here with you...

1. Exercise intensity is measured in METS (Metabolic Equivalent of Task). 1 MET is how much energy you use at rest, light intensity is 1.5-3 METS, moderate is 3-6 METS, and anything greater than 6 METS is classified as vigorous exercise.

Here is a nice infographic of what different physical activities would measure up as:

Image via Trinity College Dublin
Also have a look on this website for a more detailed MET breakdown of different sports

2. In 1995 a guideline was created that adults exercise 30 mins a day, at least 5 days a week. These guidelines have since been updated in 2007 and state that
Adults should engage in moderate exercise (see above for what counts as moderate exercise) for 30 mins, 5 days a week or vigorous exercise for 20 mins, 3 days a week. 
Your weekly exercise total can be made by a combination of these intensities too.
In 2008 these guidelines were updated again and stated that, because the 2007 guidelines were too specific, adults were recommended to do at least 150 mins a week of moderate exercise, or 75 mins a week of vigorous exercise, or a combination, and that the activity should be in bursts longer than 10 mins at a time.

Children should engage in at least 60 minutes of (age-appropriate) moderate to vigorous exercise, daily.

You can read these guidelines here and here

3. Exercise is anti-inflammatory.
It stimulates the release of cortisol, adrenaline, and IL-6, which are chemicals that suppress inflammation.

4. Exercise can be used to improve brain function. This extends to those suffering from depression, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease, however, it is also essential for children and studying adults. It is recommended that, if they are able, those wishing to improve their brain function via exercise do so by following the 2007 and/or 2008 guidelines for exercise mentioned above.

5. Following the exercise guidelines of 2007 and 2008 mentioned above, can reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular (heart) disease by 30%. One of the reasons behind this is that exercise improves the flexibility/elasticity of your blood vessels, reducing your risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

This is provided purely as information, not medical advice - if you are unwell, please seek assistance from your healthcare professional

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