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Exercise and Chronic Medical Conditions

Exercise helps with chronic diseases, but we need to know more!

Woman exercising with chronic medical conditions

Fitness professionals know that exercise improves health and can be a valuable adjunctive therapy in numerous chronic medical conditions. Clear guidelines that connect specific types and amounts of exercise and particular medical conditions, however, are not available. A group of researchers in Australia conducted a review of 7,804 studies and concluded that exercise interventions are poorly reported.

Study authors note that investigators need to focus more clearly on recording exercise description, timing and duration, supervision, and mode of delivery.

Until reporting on these details is improved, practitioners are limited in their ability to translate research into practice. This information is also relevant to enable fitness professionals to more fully integrate themselves as allied healthcare professionals for those with chronic medical conditions.

The review is available in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (2022; doi:10.1136/bjsports-2021-104977).

See also: Exercise Therapy and Chronic Health Conditions

What Do You Think?

“Medical fitness” is positioned for growth. Given that fitness training improves management of multiple chronic health conditions, are you or your facility making a renewed effort to reach out to individuals with chronic conditions? If yes, how are you reaching these individuals, and what is your success? Tell us about your experiences.

We want to hear from you! Email executive editor Joy Keller at [email protected].

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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