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The Role of Fitness in Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation

The Role of Fitness in Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation...


The Role of Fitness in Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation

Fitness exercises have positive effects on both physical and mental aspects, leading to a reduced risk and delayed onset of diseases for individuals who engage in regular exercise. According to the World Health Organization, the likelihood of developing diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and malignant tumors is 20% to 30% lower for individuals who participate in regular physical activities compared to those who do not exercise. Additionally, individuals who do not engage in physical activity may experience a reduction in lifespan of approximately three years. Furthermore, a substantial body of evidence demonstrates that exercise is an important component of many disease treatment approaches.

I. Exercise Aids in Preventing Various Diseases

Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Most cardiovascular diseases originate from narrowed blood vessels, which can decrease blood supply to the heart and brain, leading to tissue damage. Acute occurrences of these conditions often manifest as heart attacks or strokes. Regular participation in fitness exercises can slow down the progressive narrowing of blood vessels with age, enhance the body's ability to cope with acute ischemia in the heart and brain, and thus prevent common cardiovascular diseases. Osteoporosis, joint degeneration, and muscle atrophy are increasingly prevalent diseases associated with aging, causing a decline in physical function and impairing activities of daily living, and even resulting in fractures and physical disabilities. Fitness exercises can promote bone strength, increase joint flexibility and stability, and enhance muscle strength and mass, effectively preventing musculoskeletal diseases. Imbalances caused by excessive caloric intake and insufficient exercise disrupt the body's metabolic system, leading to metabolic disorders such as diabetes, obesity, dyslipidemia, and gout. Fitness exercises not only help burn excess substances and energy, but also play a positive role in establishing a healthy lifestyle, effectively preventing metabolic diseases. Malignant tumors pose a significant threat to human life, and current medical interventions have limitations. Therefore, intervening in the risk factors for developing malignant tumors is an important preventive measure. Although fitness exercises, as an essential aspect of a healthy lifestyle, cannot completely prevent all types of tumors, they can reduce the risk of tumor occurrence and promote overall physical health. Furthermore, fitness exercises can regulate emotions, alleviate psychological stress, and enhance immune system function through the production of positive physical fatigue, thereby preventing mental disorders such as depression.

II. Fitness Exercises as Complementary Treatment for Certain Diseases

The rapid development of the economy, changes in ecological environments, and the progress of social automation and informatization have led to lifestyle changes, resulting in the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases—an unavoidable public health issue. It is estimated that the number of diagnosed chronic disease patients in China has exceeded 300 million, with chronic diseases accounting for approximately 85% of the total mortality rate, four to five times higher than in developed countries.

Existing research indicates that fitness exercises can serve as a primary complementary treatment for certain chronic and mental illnesses. In the treatment of diabetes, it has been proven that exercise combined with dietary control during the stage of abnormal blood glucose levels can be as effective as drug treatment, delaying or even preventing the progression of the disease to the diabetes stage. In the diabetes stage, exercise can lower blood glucose levels and reduce the dosage of medication when combined with dietary control. Exercise can optimize the regulation of insulin, protect the health of the heart and blood vessels. Therefore, fitness exercises are of great importance to individuals with diabetes and cannot be replaced by medication alone. In the prevention and treatment of hypertension, exercise has both therapeutic and preventive effects. On one hand, exercise itself has immediate therapeutic effects on hypertension. On the other hand, long-term exercise can enhance vascular elasticity and cardiac function, effectively preventing complications such as stroke and heart disease caused by hypertension. In the treatment of coronary heart disease, moderate exercise can improve the heart's adaptability, ensure blood supply to the heart, and reduce the likelihood of experiencing angina and myocardial infarction. Clinical practice has demonstrated that moderate exercise can serve as a primary complementary treatment for various diseases, including depression, tumors, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and muscle atrophy. A recent international authoritative study showed that exercise can reduce the risk of developing 26 types of cancer, with a significant reduction in the risk of 13 of these cancers, including lung cancer, which has the highest mortality rate in China.

The process from perfect health to absolute death for most individuals involves a progression from a disease-free state to the occurrence and development of diseases. Disease occurrence and development encompass a process from low-risk and high-risk states, early changes, clinical symptoms, to disease states. Before the onset of disease symptoms, fitness exercises are the most effective preventive measure. Even after the appearance of disease symptoms, fitness exercises remain an effective means of disease control and improving quality of life. Therefore, fitness exercises are an investment in future health, which should not be delayed until health problems arise but rather initiated when disease risk is low.

In conclusion, fitness is a practical activity through which individuals scientifically and reasonably select and engage in exercise to maintain physical and mental well-being. By enhancing the physical and mental health levels as well as social adaptability, and by preventing and treating diseases, fitness exercises help individuals achieve a state of overall well-being.

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