Exercise For the Middle-Aged Adult Paper

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Exercise For the Middle-Aged Adult Paper

For the Middle-Aged Adult, Exercise Can Reduce the Risk of Various Health Problems

The sophisticated and multifactorial pathophysiology of the vast majority of health problems has led to the development of advanced therapeutic options including the likes of stem cell transplantation, newer pharmacologic agents, complex surgical procedures, radiation therapy and organ transplants. Nevertheless, general measures form part of treatment plan of most medical disorders.

A well documented general measure with significant health benefits is physical activity. Ruegsegger and Booth (2018) recognizes exercise as a powerful tool capable of promoting a longer life span and delaying the onset of more than 40 chronic diseases. Ruegsegger and Booth (2018) further acknowledges that physical training is complex and tends to invoke polygenic interactions within cells, tissues and organs. In this piece of paper, the role of exercise in minimizing the risk of cardiovascular events and diabetes will be discussed alongside the prevalence of the two health problems.

Cardiovascular health issues

The cardiovascular events such as heart attack and coronary artery disease are among the leading causes of death worldwide. However, there is overwhelming evidence of reduced incidence of these events in actively exercising individuals compared to those living sedentary lifestyle. Lear et al. (2017) concluded that both recreational and non recreational exercises significantly lowered the risk of mortality and heart diseases in low income and middle income as well as high income countries. Cardiovascular events are modified by risk factors such as diabetes such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol and obesity (CDC, 2020b).

Physical activity is associated with elevated levels of high-density lipoprotein and low levels of cholesterol in addition to decreased blood pressure and decreased body mass index (Nystoriak & Bhatnagar, 2018). Also, it is associated with cardiac adaptations, blood vasculature modifications and decreased insulin resistance (Nystoriak & Bhatnagar, 2018) all favoring decreased incidence of coronary artery disease and heart attack. However, the underlying complex molecular mechanisms for these actions are beyond the scope of this paper.

Heart disease was the leading cause of death in the USA before emergence of COVID 19 with a mortality 655 000 per year (CDC, 2020b). About 18.2 million Americans older than 20 years have coronary artery disease with a mortality annual rate of 365 914 in 2017(CDC, 2020b). In the USA still heart attack is as common as 1 in every 40 seconds. Annual incidence of heart attack in the USA is about 805 000 (CDC, 2020b) with 605 000 experiencing the initial attack and 200 000 having another episode.

Diabetes Mellitus

Physical activity has been shown to play a crucial role in reducing the incidence of diabetes as well as micro and macrovascular complications associated with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends both aerobic and strength training exercises to control diabetes (Ruegsegger & Booth, 2018). Type 2 diabetes is mostly associated with sedentary life style and physical activity has been shown to increase insulin secretion and sensitivity and lower body mass index (Cannata et al., 2020).

Similarly, exercise has been shown to reduce glucose levels in chronic hyperglycemia and increase resistance to illness by reducing the immunosuppression effects of diabetes. Furthermore, the muscle tone is also increased (Cannata et al., 2020). The exact mechanisms underlying this action farther on than this discussion.

The prevalence of diabetes in the USA is 34.2 million (which equals 10.5% of the US populations) as of 2018 (CDC, 2020). Of this value, 34.1 million were adults aged 18 and above (this value represents 13% of all US adults). However, 7.3 million adults aged above 18 years had undiagnosed diabetes (CDC, 2020). The percentage of adults with diabetes increased with age and it was at 26.8% among those aged 65years and above. 38% of all those who had diabetes (CDC, 2020) were physically inactive.


Despite the overwhelming evidence of the importance of physical activity in reducing the incidence of health-related issues, it is astonishing that many individuals still choose to live a sedentary lifestyle at the expense of their health. The high morbidity and mortality associated with physical inactivity has attracted attention of medical researchers and practitioners coining phrases like “exercise is medicine.”


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  • CDC. (2020a, June 11). What is Diabetes? Cdc.Gov. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html
  • CDC. (2020b, September 9). Heart disease facts. Cdc.Gov. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
  • Lear, S. A., Hu, W., Rangarajan, S., Gasevic, D., Leong, D., Iqbal, R., Casanova, A., Swaminathan, S., Anjana, R. M., Kumar, R., Rosengren, A., Wei, L., Yang, W., Chuangshi, W., Huaxing, L., Nair, S., Diaz, R., Swidon, H., Gupta, R., … Yusuf, S. (2017). The effect of physical activity on mortality and cardiovascular disease in 130 000 people from 17 high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries: the PURE study. Lancet390(10113), 2643–2654. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(17)31634-3
  • Nystoriak, M. A., & Bhatnagar, A. (2018). Cardiovascular effects and benefits of exercise. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine5, 135. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2018.00135
  • Ruegsegger, G. N., & Booth, F. W. (2018). Health benefits of exercise. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine8(7), a029694. https://doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a029694