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. 


Only half of US adults meet the guidelines for aerobic physical activity.1 Only 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 adolescents meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.1,2
An estimated 110,000 deaths per year could be prevented if US adults aged 40 and older increased their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by a small amount. Even 10 minutes more a day would make a difference.3
People who engage in sufficient levels of aerobic activity are about 30% less likely to die from any cause. The lowest risk of dying occurs in those who have between 150 and 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.4
Vigorously active men and women lived 6.3 years longer in good health and 2.9 years longer without chronic diseases between ages 50 and 75 compared to inactive individuals.5

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Watch functional medicine experts discuss exercise



Robert Rountree, MD
Reversing Cognitive Decline

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