Role of Exercise in Disease Prevention

Studies have shown that exercise can have a direct effect on preventing heart disease , cancer , and other causes of premature death. Furthermore, participation in regular physical activity may reduce the rate of occurrence of these maladies. An inverse relationship exists between disease and exercise, meaning that with increased levels of physical activity there is a decreased prevalence for certain diseases. Currently, there is strong evidence that exercise has powerful effects on mortality, CAD (including blood lipid profiles), and colon cancer. Research has also confirmed that aerobic exercise can reduce high blood pressure , obesity, type II diabetes, and osteoporosis . In addition, stroke and several types of cancer (such as breast, prostate , and lung cancer) can also be reduced with regular physical activity. 

Even more important, several of these factors are interrelated. For example, when an individual lowers his or her high blood pressure, the risk for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease is also reduced. Another example is that exercise favorably alters blood lipid profiles. These profiles include measurements of total cholesterol (TC, complete count of all cholesterol in the blood), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, the "good" cholesterol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, the "bad" cholesterol), and triglycerides (TRG, storage form of energy), which reduce the risk of plaque buildup in the coronary arteries, a sign of CAD. 

Adequate physical activity is dependent on having a well-rounded program that encompasses all aspects of improving health and preventing disease. A well-rounded program includes cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, posture, and maintenance of body composition.