Physical activity as medicine

Physical activity as medicine

Physical Activity – The Single best Medicine CREDIT: https://www.greasbroughmedicalcentre.co.uk * EIM, NHF recommended adequate physical activity as a potent force in the fight against COVID-19
*Regular exercise helps make heart stronger, lowers blood pressure, increases blood flow
*Vigorous session improves sleep, helps curb low-grade inflammation in children
*Drinking coffee before activity may help burn more fat, researchers find
*Eating just one cup of leafy green vegetables daily could boost muscle function

More reasons have emerged why most medical practitioners now recommend increased exercise or rather physical activity as medicine.

Doctors are unanimous that regular exercise such as walking tops 15 natural ways to combat high blood pressure. They say regular exercise helps make one’s heart stronger and more efficient at pumping blood, which lowers the pressure in the arteries.

In fact, they say 150 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as running, per week, can help lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

Scientists have demonstrated in recent studies how exercise increases blood flow to the brain; can modulate various parameters associated with improved sleep, and helps curb low-grade inflammation in children. Even as other studies found drinking coffee before exercise may help burn more fat, and eating just one cup of leafy green vegetables every day could boost muscle function.

A new movement formed by Exercise is Medicine (EIM) and the Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) has recommended adequate physical activity as a potent force in the fight against COVID-19. They said the role of physical activity in regulating immunity and providing optimum health for people with non-communicable diseases are germane in the fight against the pandemic.

Indeed, globalisation and urbanisation have brought rapid changes in lifestyle and the consequences of decreased physical activity, increased sedentary living, unhealthy diets, and increased tobacco use, with rising in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). NCDs, especially cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality as reflected in the past 18 months even with the COVID-19 pandemic all over the world.

Chairman of physical activity committee, Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) and Director, Exercise is Medicine (EIM) Nigeria National Centre, Prof. Fatai Adeniyi, told journalists at a press conference organised ahead of the 2021 World Physical Activity Day (WOPAD) that considering the global surge in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and heart diseases among others, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes expedient to reiterate the benefits of being physical activities for all generations of people.

The theme for the first WOPAD adopted by NHF is “Exercise for a Healthy Heart.” The press conference was organised by the NHF in collaboration with EIM, Nigeria National Centre, the Advisory Board, and the Ambassadors.

Adeniyi said physical activity when adopted by everyone has the benefit of preventing, maintaining, and controlling the complexities surrounding non-communicable disease onset, progression, and complications. “While these aforementioned benefits are probably well known about non-communicable diseases, it is necessary to emphasis that adequate physical activity can serve as a potent force in the fight against COVID-19 as the role of physical activity in regulating immunity and providing optimum health for people with noncommunicable diseases are germane in the fight against the pandemic,” he said.

Adeniyi said the EIM Global Centre and the Nigeria National Centre are profoundly committed to the adoption of health-enhancing physical activity among the general population. They, however, believe there is a wide gap between what people know about physical activity and what they practise. “Therefore, as we celebrate the 2021 World Physical Activity Day, the EIM Nigeria calls on individuals, groups, corporate entities, traditional institutions, government and non-governmental agencies including all policy influencers and makers to pay more attention to the issues around physical activity at every level of our daily routines to narrow the gap between knowledge and actual uptake of physical activity,” he said.

Executive Director, NHF, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye, said that the discussion about physical activity has been on for many decades; hence it is not a new innovation.

Akinroye, however, the WOPAD is a day set aside to propagate in stronger terms, the benefits inherent in the adoption of physical activity. The cardiologist said the WOPAD celebrated globally on April 6 every year features various programmes to enhance the uptake of physical activity by the general public. “For the year 2021, the Exercise is Medicine (EIM) Nigeria is organising series of events in Osogbo, the Osun State capital on April 6 and 10, 2021. The programmes include radio and other sensitization talks, health screening and counselling on physical activity, group physical exercise sessions, and working Gyms and Wellness Centres in Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Port-Harcourt, Abakaliki, and Osogbo,” he said.

Akinroye said the EIM Nigeria, domiciled and nurtured by the Nigerian Heart Foundation is an agency of the American College of Sports Medicine, with its headquarters in Indianapolis, United States of America (USA), but with a global presence in over 40 countries. He said Nigeria is one of the three countries in Africa with this global presence and NHF is proud to be part of this global family.

The cardiologist said WOPAD provides a unique opportunity for the EIM to reach out to the different strata of the community, as it is an opportunity to further reinforce the core visions of the EIM. Akinroye said the EIM visions include: making health care providers assess every patient’s level of physical activity at every clinic visit; determining if the patient is meeting physical activity guidelines; providing patients with brief counselling to help him/her meet the guidelines; and/or refering the patient to either health care or community-based resources/experts for further physical activity counselling and guidance.

Akinroye said: “We use the medium to call on individuals, groups, corporate entities, traditional institutions, government and non-governmental agencies including all policy influencers and makers to pay more attention to the issues around physical activity at every level of our daily routines to narrow the gap between knowledge and actual uptake of physical activity.”

Meanwhile, physical exercise has long been prescribed as a way to improve the quality of sleep. But now, researchers from Japan have found that […]

Read more at guardian.ng

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