There is a super drug and it’s called exercise

There is a super drug and it’s called exercise

Disruptive longevity. A disruptive longevity. Thus, at the World Economic Forum 2020, reference was made to this new condition which, with technology (increasingly sophisticated in the collection of individual parameters), would have the greatest impact on the health and well-being system, at a global level, in following decade. The current one.

What does “longevity” mean

However, a clarification is needed regarding the meaning of the term: longevity no longer means the simple extension of life span (the “life span”), but refers to the so-called “health span”. The period we spend with a high quality of life, i.e. with the least possible use of drugs. It is in this aspect that we need to invest in terms of prevention and it is to achieve the objective that movement and an active lifestyle are, on all fronts, essential. But, just as the correlation between regular physical activity and “health span” has been proven by research in very different fields, it is equally true that a correct dosage must be followed: exercise is a real drug and as such requires a prescription individualized.

Do gymnastics with the orthopedist: exercises against knee pain

Because at doses that are too low it is useless and at excessive doses it risks being counterproductive, especially in the presence of diseases. This is why in the medical-scientific debate the “Fitt” principle is insisted on, an acronym for “Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type”: the variables that must be considered with the support of a specialist and then controlled over time.

Type 2 diabetes

Returning to the initial discussion, it has been shown that regular physical exercise acts in a protective way on the main chronic diseases, which, by accelerating cellular aging, decrease the body’s defense capacity. Considering, for example, type 2 diabetes – almost always linked to being overweight and among the main causes of “unhealthy longevity” – exercise reduces its incidence by 58% and has significant positive effects on the full-blown pathology, both direct (such as lowering blood sugar and reducing the need for insulin) and indirect on related situations such as metabolic syndrome or circulatory pathologies.

New evidence has also emerged in relation to the benefits on low-grade inflammation and anti-cancer strategies. It was also discussed at the 25th annual congress of the Wellness Foundation in Cesena, where, on these last two aspects, they spoke, respectively, Alberto Mantovaniimmunologist and scientific director of the Humanitas Clinical Institute, e Robert Newton of the Australian Edith Cowan University. It has been underlined how regular physical activity lowers the inflammatory tone. Which is the underlying condition of most chronic pathologies.

The role of physical exercise in tumor control

As for tumors, if until a few years ago the discussion focused on the preventive role of exercise, now the latter is also considered fundamental in a synergistic treatment approach. Defined as a sort of “endogenous anti-cancer medicine”, with proven preventive effects on seven types of cancer (breast, colon, bladder, esophagus, stomach, kidneys, endometrium), in some cases it lowers the risk of death by 20%, while in other types it reaches 60%.

The advantage also materializes for “cancer survivors”, because keeping in motion counteracts sarcopenia – the loss of muscle mass – which is induced by the tumor and is considered a predictor of mortality. Furthermore, during chemotherapy, practicing controlled activity has positive effects on mood and on the so-called “fatigue”, which cancer patients often experience: a syndrome that includes marked manifestations of not only physical, but cognitive and emotional tiredness.

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