For many of us, reducing the spread of COVID-19 has meant long periods of isolation at home. This pandemic has disrupted our routines, shoving exercise to the bottom of our to-do lists. But chiropractors know that keeping your body moving is important. As spine, muscle, and nervous system experts, they have shared a few important reasons for you to stay active:
1) It helps relieve low back pain
All the sitting around during the pandemic hasn’t helped your back pain. Exercise, especially core strengthening, has been shown to be very effective in improving the function of your back.1
2) It improves bone health
Current evidence shows that exercise can increase bone density and decrease the risk of falls and fractures in the elderly.1 Studies have also shown that exercise is comparable to medication in improving the day-to-day functioning of people with osteoarthritis.
3) It helps prevent obesity
Obesity is often linked to many life-threatening illnesses (e.g., diabetes or high blood pressure). There is strong evidence that exercise is important for preventing weight gain as well as keeping your weight stable after you’ve shed some pounds.1
4) It helps improve your mental health
Social isolation during this pandemic has made people feel anxious and stressed. Physical exercise can have a positive effect on the long-term management of psychological symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and chronic stress!1
5) It helps manage diabetes Diabetes affects approximately 2.5 million Canadians, with over 200,000 cases being diagnosed every year.2 Researchers around the globe have all found that regular exercise, along with dietary changes, can help manage diabetes.1
6) It prevents your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease
Cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death in Canada.1 There is more and more evidence showing that exercise can help protect you from developing cancer in the colon, breast, uterus, and prostate.1 Studies have also shown that exercise lessens your risk of developing heart disease because it helps reduce the amount of fats and cholesterol in the body (both play a role in damaging your arteries).1
7) It can help improve brain health
Individuals who exercise regularly may have a decreased risk of developing dementia. It may also improve balance and function in individuals with Parkinson’s disease.3
Don’t let this pandemic slow you down. Improve your overall health by making exercise a part of your daily routine. If you want to learn more about managing your health with exercise, contact your local chiropractor.
Credit: Canadian Chiropractic Association
1 Pedersen BK, Saltin B. Exercise as medicine: evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015;25(S3): 1-72.
2 Public Health Agency of Canada. Diabetes in Canada: Facts and figures from a public health perspective. Date modified: December 15, 2011. Accessed September 22, 2017.
3 Paillard, Thierry, et al. “Protective Effects of Physical Exercise in Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease: A Narrative Review.” Journal of Clinical Neurology (Seoul, Korea), Korean Neurological Association, July 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4507374/.