Exercise Influences Physiological Function and Disease Risk
Sedentary behavior has emerged as a potential risk factor for cardiometabolic health, chronic disease, and mortality. While exercise has a range of benefits, from bone and muscle health to improved mood, cognition, and weight management, it may not be enough to combat the effects of a predominantly sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, optimizing a patient's lifestyle factors becomes a "big picture" approach. Short bursts of low-impact, low-interval exercise is a great starting point for engaging patients in daily movement. Combined with better nutrition and improved sleep quality, consistent exercise, no matter the duration, can positively influence a patient's health outcomes.
- National Center for Health Statistics. FastStats: exercise or physical activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reviewed September 6, 2022. Accessed September 30, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/exercise.htm
- US Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. 2nd ed. US Department of Health and Human Services; 2018. Accessed September 30, 2022. https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf
- Saint-Maurice PF, Graubard BI, Troiano RP, et al. Estimated number of deaths prevented through increased physical activity among US adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2022;182(3):349-352. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.7755
- Zhao M, Veeranki SP, Magnussen CG, Xi B. Recommended physical activity and all cause and cause specific mortality in US adults: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2020;370:m2031. doi:10.1136/bmj.m2031
- Leskinen T, Stenholm S, Aalto V, Head J, Kivimäki M, Vahtera J. Physical activity level as a predictor of healthy and chronic disease-free life expectancy between ages 50 and 75. Age Ageing. 2018;47(3):423-429. doi:10.1093/ageing/afy016
Register Now for IFM's New eLearning Course
Explore the latest research on exercise
Brain-Aging & Cognition
Exercise may help maintain brain structure and protect against neurodegeneration.
Effective interventions to reduce sedentary habits and increase physical activity.
Exercise Types & Benefits
Various types of exercise like resistance training, yoga, and walking can benefit cardiovascular health.
Reducing sedentary time with small bursts of movement and exercise can lower the risk of heart disease.
Improving Health & Longevity
Lifestyle factors can reverse the trend of decreasing life expectancy and quality of life.
Lowering Barriers for Fitness
Julie Foucher, MD, MS, discusses how to get patients started on an exercise prescription tailored to their health needs.
Watch functional medicine experts discuss exercise