What is sports therapy?
It is a non-drug treatment used to improve health through exercise. Its major goal is to alleviate, compensate, or regenerate psychological or physical complaints. It is used mainly for prevention and rehabilitation.
Sport is one of the most effective and safest “drugs.” Unfortunately, very few people are sufficiently physically active. There are no clear recommendations as to what “dosage” is required to prevent serious illnesses in the long term.
A combination of strength training and regular endurance sport is considered optimal for preventing diseases, especially for the prevention of diabetes and older people, who can use it to prevent muscle wasting.
Around 1 billion people – more than a quarter of half the population in Inner West – exercise too little. In this country, almost every second person is too inactive, except for athletes and a few others who drain professionally. The many conveniences of our modern world – cars, office jobs, elevators, delivery services – play their part.
Sport extends life
However, physical exercise is often only marginally discussed in the doctor’s consultation, which does not motivate patients to change their lives. However, some convincing facts and figures can help doctors explain their patients the specific health benefits exercise brings. A large number of studies have shown that physical activity is an effective “anti-aging medicine.” As a result, even 15 minutes of exercise a day lower the mortality risk by 14%. The super active, who do around 50 minutes of intense sport a day, can reduce their death risk by almost half.
Sports therapy against diabetes
Sports therapy is also adopted to prevent diabetes and delay or even prevent the disease. The reason: Physical activity activates an insulin-independent mechanism with which the body’s cells can better absorb glucose from the blood. The blood sugar level drops, and the insulin sensitivity increases.
In addition to endurance sports, muscle building training is particularly suitable in the fight against diabetes. “Muscles are real sugar eater.” Extra muscle tissue increases the body’s glucose storage capacity and is even more effective at lowering HbA. The positive effects on the glucose level can sometimes be seen in the blood after a week of exercise.
Effective dementia prevention
Active muscle tissue also secretes so-called myokines, which contain chronic inflammation and counteract the formation of plaque. If plaques are already present, regular exercise can increase their strength and prevent rupture. Physical exercise also helps with arrhythmias by improving the heartbeat’s parasympathetic regulation and also reducing cardiomyocytes’ susceptibility to malfunction.
As effective as an antidepressant
Exercise also increases dopamine levels, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the blood, which activates our reward system, improves mood and reduces stress feelings. Physical activity is also an extremely effective remedy for depression: A study shows that jogging for 30 minutes per week is as effective as an antidepressant.
Sports therapy on prescription
Exercise is a – mostly free – all-purpose remedy against numerous diseases, which does not have to fear comparison with medication in terms of effectiveness. Nevertheless, the lack of exercise in society continues to increase. The economic damage is immense. The patient consultation offers the ideal space to inform people about the numerous advantages of physical activity and motivate them to move.
Older adults and patients with previous illnesses should also be encouraged to exercise after a medical check-up. At the end of the conversation, a “sports recipe” could be issued that provides information on the type, duration, frequency, and intensity of the recommended exercise.
Sports therapy against cancer
Chemotherapy is better tolerated, and the disease is cheaper. So exercise helps in cancer prevention and the treatment of cancer patients, the oncologist concludes.