In recent years, the importance of exercising not only to improve sporting performance but also for health purposes has become established.
«Exercise for health purposes is usually part of a process that starts with the identification of potential risk factors through specific screening. The results are then interpreted in the best possible way thanks to the latest scientific evidence, with the aim of creating a pathway that can prevent or counteract the onset of various diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. In this way, we can define physical exercise as a real medication» explains Luca Demolli, sports and fitness trainer at the Mapei Sport Research Centre in Olgiate Olona (Varese).
The importance of physical exercise in improving health is confirmed by the latest report from the World Health Organisation, which states that seven of the ten leading causes of mortality globally are noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This term refers to chronic non-communicable diseases, including metabolic diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension. In these types of diseases, physical exercise plays a pivotal role, both for its preventive effect but also in some cases for its even therapeutic effect.
«However, if we want to use exercise as a medicine to achieve tangible health effects, simply moving around is not enough. As with all medicines, exercise must be dosed correctly. In this context, we use the principles of sports training such as duration, intensity, frequency and type, but applied for health purposes» Demolli continues in the latest episode of Cubetti di Sapere.
Scientific evidence shows that specific training programmes can reduce blood pressure levels by up to 10/12 mmhg or increase HDL cholesterol by up to 22%. «It’s important to remember that while it’s never too late to start, we must also be aware that the sooner we take advantage of the possibility of using exercise as a real medicine, the greater the effects we can achieve on our health» the expert concludes.