exercise as medicine 300x282    At the 2014 “Exercise is Medicine” World Congress, Michael Gleeson Ph. D reports that exercise has been shown to increase immune function and reduce inlammation (the major cause of chronic disease). Also exercise has been shown to also reduce premature deaths due to breast and colon cancer  as well as Type II diabetes.  At the same event another speaker, Luc van Loon Ph. D reported the results of  his study showing that a single session of resistance exercise or strength training improved insulin sensitivity for at least 24 hours.  Blood sugar usually peaks the most right after a meal. To lower that blood sugar, Jonathon Little, Ph. D found that High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT, prior to a meal effectively lowers high blood sugar. He recommended 75 minutes of HIIT a week as well as resistance exercise to manage diabetes with exercise.

If you want to reduce the risk of heart disease by 14%, one study at the same event reported that brisk walking two and one-half hours a week accomplished that goal. If you are an eager beaver and walk five hours a week a 20% reduction in heart disease.was reported.  So we see that higher levels of exercise are associated with longer life expectancy.

Personally, I like saving my healthcare dollars and adding “exercise as medicine” to my“food as medicine”.plan.. And I much prefer the time-savings of 75 minutes of HIIT with two days a week of strength training to five hours of brisk walking per week.

What works for you?

Janiece LeCates,

The Healthy Tightwad

Vitacost.com