The benefits — or potential harm — of physical activity
■ Connected coverage - selected articles on trends, challenges and controversies in the changing world of medicine.
Posted July 9, 2012
Physical activity can be beneficial to patients, and recent studies suggest physicians might want to consider recommending an exercise regimen for a wider range of patients looking to prevent or treat certain conditions. But as with most things in life, moderation is important.
American Medical News has been covering research developments on the medical benefits of physical activity. Alzheimer's disease and arthritis are some of the conditions that might be averted or ameliorated by exercise, but when that activity involves ultramarathons or other endurance events, cardiac health might become at risk.
While recommending exercise for patients, doctors are advised that excessive amounts can cause repeated changes in the heart that weaken muscle or cause arrhythmia. Read more
Researchers say a direct link between mental and physical fitness and the prevention of dementia-related diseases hasn't been found, but recommending more activity can't hurt. Read more
Staying active can help reduce pain, delay disability and reduce the risk of developing co-morbidities associated with the disease. Read more