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Regular physical exercise can combat risks associated with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women; it accounts for 25% of preventable deaths in the United States, and diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death, impacting more than 30 million Americans annually. Type II diabetes accounts for 90-95% of these diagnoses and is largely preventable. The Centers for Disease Control endorse programs which focus on weight reduction, formal disease education, and increasing physical activity to prevent diabetes and heart disease and to reduce associated risks.

According to the CDC, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for substantial health benefits, but anything is better than nothing. Preferably, aerobic activity should be spread throughout the week. Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these activities provide additional health benefits. While something is better than nothing, more is better than less. For example, a person who does 300 minutes a week has an even lower risk of heart disease or type 2 diabetes than a person who does 150 minutes a week.

Encouraging patients to make lasting, sustainable changes is the best approach. Including an evening walk with the family is one way to increase activity. Brisk walking, tennis, and swimming are ways to increase aerobic activity (US DHHS, 2018). Ensuring that patients understand the benefits of physical activity and that they appreciate what’s at stake with inactivity are important measures also.

References:

America’s Health Rankings. (2018). Diabetes in 2017. Retrieved from https://www.americashealthrankings.org/explore/annual/measure/Diabetes

CDC. (2017). About Diabetes Prevention. Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/about/index.html

Falkner, A. (2018). Grand Canyon University (Ed). Health promotion: Healt

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