Every year, the latest advances and scientific discoveries within several dozen medical specialties are summarized in the “Contempo” issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association in language that doctors outside those specialties can understand.
Every year, I read Contempo, searching (mostly in vain) for signs that leaders in various medical specialties are apprising their colleagues of the importance of physical exercise to the health and well being of their patients. Finally, my search has been amply rewarded.
Three of the 39 essays in Contempo 1997 (June 18), include strong recommendations for exercise that will warm the hearts of physical fitness professionals (and strengthen the hearts of any clients who will show up at the fitness center because of their physicians’ stronger emphasis on the necessity of exercise). Read and enjoy.
Geriatric Medicine, by William B. Applegate and Marco Pahor:
“A wealth of recent observational studies and randomized clinical trials indicate that older persons who maintain or adopt a lifestyle with increased moderate daily physical activity derive numerous health benefits. Furthermore, it is now apparent that aerobic power, muscle strength, balance, and flexibility are all important aspects of maintaining physical function, and each of these domains can be addressed by specific types of exercise.”
Nutrition, by Robert M. Russell:
“A fundamental but underemphasized modality for weight control is physical activity. … Exercise increases energy expenditure but, in so doing, also reduces the risk of the incidence of obesity-related conditions: coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, colon cancer, and psychological depression. In fact, the degree of risk for developing coronary artery disease by physical inactivity is as strong as that for smoking, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.”
Sports Medicine, by Jeffrey L. Tanji:
“One of the major advances in sports medicine over the past decade has been the proliferation of powerful scientific evidence that relatively moderate amounts of physical activity and levels of physical fitness confer protective benefit against both all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. … Further, the relationship between physical activity, physical fitness, and decreased mortality rates was more convincing in the studies with more rigorous methodology.”
Tanji pointed out the importance of exercise in prevention of the “deadly quartet” of high blood pressure, glucose intolerance, high cholesterol and abdominal obesity.
He also noted: “Several studies are now in progress that are studying how physicians in a clinical office setting can most effectively advise patients to exercise.”
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