Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Get in the Game: The benefits of exercise

A dangerous percentage of Americans have no regular exercise routine, which can lead to bone and muscle loss and diminished cardiac function.

Get in the Game: The benefits of exercise


by Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D.

Exercise is an activity that takes on a wide variety of forms from throwing a ball to climbing a mountain. It’s an activity that is enjoyed by people of all ages, the young and old alike. There are no limits on size or shape and allows participation at all levels from recreational to amateur and professional. 

What is the real advantage of exercising? Certainly there is a tremendous psychological sense of well-being that comes from exercising as well as the social aspects of interacting with other athletic individuals. But what are the true physiological benefits to exercise? 

If one sorts through the information available on the lack of exercise or inactivity, several eye opening statistics can be found. 

  • Recent studies show that skeletal bone loss occurs in both males and females at a rate of 1% per year after the age of 35. 
  • Muscle loss in both males and females occurs at a rate of 20-40% between the ages of 40 and 65. 
  • Cardiac function diminishes at a rate of 5-10% per decade between the ages of 25 and 75.
  • Inactivity is one of the six major coronary risk factors as identified by the American Medical Association. 

These are very sobering general statistics on inactivity or lack of exercise. How does that apply more specifically to the status of exercise in the United States? Facts tabulated by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness indicate that of the U.S. adult population:

  • 25% are considered overweight.
  • 30% are sedentary.
  • Only 50% exercise regularly
  • Only 10% exercise daily. 

So when asked the basic question “Why Exercise?” or “Should I Exercise?” the answer is a resounding yes for a host of physiological reasons. Not only does exercise benefit us from a standpoint of psychological well-being and socialization, but it also has great health benefits to us.

Unfortunately, statistics indicate that only a small percentage of Americans actually benefit from the pleasure and the significant health advantages of a regular exercise routine. It is vitally important that each of us take the time and the effort to “Get in the Game.”

Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D., of the Rothman Institute is the Head Team Physician for the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Joseph’s University.

Head Team Physician for Phillies & St. Joe's; Rothman Institute
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Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

Sarah Whitman, MD Sports Psychiatrist in Philadelphia
Tracey Romero Sports Medicine Editor,
J. Ryan Bair, PT, DPT, SCS Founder and Owner of FLASH Sports Physical Therapy, Board Certified in Sports Physical Therapy
Brian Cammarota, ATC, PT, DPT, CSCS Partner at Symetrix Sports Performance
Ellen Casey, MD Physician with Drexel University Sports Medicine
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Head Team Physician for Phillies & St. Joe's; Rothman Institute
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Head Team Physician for Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon for Flyers; Rothman Institute
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director of The Center For Sport Psychology; Sports Psychology Consultant for 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Team Physician for USA Wrestling, Consultant for Phillies; Rothman Institute
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer, The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician for Drexel, Philadelphia Univ., Saint Joe’s, & U.S. Lacrosse
Brian Maher, BS, CSCS Owner, Philly Personal Training
Julia Mayberry, M.D. Attending Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Main Line Hand Surgery P.C.
Gavin McKay, NASM-CPT Founder/Franchisor, Unite Fitness
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales and Hatfield, PA
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Athletic Trainer for US Soccer Federation; Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute
Thomas Trojian MD, CAQSM, FACSM Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine at Drexel University
Justin D'Ancona
Robert Senior Event coverage, Sports Doc contributor
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