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Peter Kokkinos, a cardiologist researcher, examines in his article “Physical Activity, Health Benefits, and Mortality Risk”, 7 September 2012 the benefits of physical activity on health and mortality.

In his paper, Kokkinos sums up the health benefits of physical activity as follows:

  • Physical activity is associated with lower mortality in both women and men, maintaining good physical activity in individuals throughout the years results in health benefits and a reduction in mortality. He states that exercise intensity and duration were both found to be effective in decreasing mortality risk and heart disease.
  • Physical activity plays a role in lowering the rates of coronary heart disease.
  • Physical activity contributes to blood pressure reduction which is very important in preventing cardiovascular disease.
  • physical activity is effective in preventing the development of diabetes. Also in diabetic patients, physical activity combined with a healthy diet is associated with lowering blood sugar levels. Moreover, the findings indicate the association between physical activity and lowering mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes.
  • Physical exercise is associated with lowering cholesterol levels and inflammation.

Kokkinos mentions that it is observed that physical exercise is associated with a transient increase in cardiac events in the elderly and sedentary population, physician consultation is important before engaging in an exercise in those individuals.

In conclusion, the author indicates that exercise is as important as medication and emphasizes that physicians should recommend it along with medications, and recommends an aerobic moderate-intensity exercise on a regular basis for the ultimate health benefits.

Author: Peter Kokkinos, Cardiology Department, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 50 Irving Street NW, Washington, DC 20422, USA Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Georgetown University, 4000 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20057-2197, USA Physical Therapy and Health Care Services, George Washington University, 2121 I Street, Washington, DC 20052, USA