Exercise: It's for More Than Just Weight Loss

Dr. Valerie Maxsam, PsyD

September 5, 2022

(Excerpts taken from the Doctoral study completed by Dr. Valerie Maxsam, PsyD (2022)


Exercise effectively protects against the development of stress-related illnesses like dementia, heart disease, depression, and type II diabetes. Exercise used as a preventative measure for diabetes has been well established through various studies. It also helps fight inflammation in the body which is the cause of stress-related illnesses such as type II diabetes. Also, exercising decreases high blood pressure, a precursor to cardiorespiratory disease.


Exercise is as effective as antidepressant medications and cognitive behavioral therapy when treating mild to moderate cases of depression. The CDC also noted that people who exercise at least 150 minutes per week are 33% less likely to develop a stress-related illness. A regimen that includes an exercise routine will help strengthen the immune system and stop or decrease the inflammatory process that causes disease.


Exercising prevents some cancers, including “bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung, and stomach" (CDC, 2021, “Long-Term Benefits” section). In one study it was shown that exercise decreases the risk of developing thirteen different types of cancer. Molecularly, exercise is valuable in controlling tumor growth and progression. Just 20 minutes of exercise a day can lower the production of tumor necrosis factor, a secretion produced by the pro-inflammatory immune cells which may be involved in carcinogenesis. ).


It also reduces the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer recurrence. When a person exercises, the body produces cytotoxic immune cells. These cells circulate through the blood during exercise and identify and eradicate any mutated cells, thus, decreasing the likelihood of future carcinogenic cellular activity.


Visit our new YouTube channel, ChoreoStep, if you would like to start a new workout program or want to add to your current workout program.





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