Active Lifestyle Choices Help Reduce Pain

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Active Lifestyle Choices Help Reduce Pain

Active lifestyle choices include exercising, becoming involved in community activities or other activities.  Exercises should include aerobic and strengthening exercises, such as weight lifting.  There are substantial benefits to both forms.  Aerobic/cardiovascular exercises include running/jogging, swimming, cycling and walking.  Just 20 minutes of exercising 3-4 times per week have been shown to be effective.

Benefits of aerobic exercising include:

  • strengthening the muscles of the lungs and heart
  • improving circulation and decreasing blood pressure
  • increasing RBC’s
  • improving oxygenation
  • improving mental health, including reducing stress, and lowering depression, as well as increasing cognitive capacity
  • reducing the risk of diabetes
  • weight loss.

Strength training shares some of the same benefits.

Weight loss, specifically, decreases wear and tear on the joints of the knees and spine.  This wear and tear causes osteoarthritis and significant joint and back pain.

In addition, there is a decrease risk of diabetes, and subsequent diabetic neuropathy and lower extremity pain.

Also, specifically, exercising stops the vicious cycle of pain and depression.  Depression can cause pain and pain can cause depression.

Remember to start slowly when starting an exercise program, and gradually increase the time and intensity of your workouts.  Your progression should be based on your abilities and your tolerance.

 

References:

(1)  Wikipedia.

(2)  Mayo Clinic.

(3)  Kentuckian Health Woman, Mar/Apr 2007.