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Exercise and Fitness Training

Jessica Sweet explains how exercise and fitness training can help improve common medical conditions.

Exercise has long been shown to have a massive range of benefits for our health, both physical and mental. Being fit and healthy can reduce our chances of developing severe health issues later in life and help manage chronic or episodic illnesses. Before using exercise to help manage a medication condition, you should talk to your doctor to ensure that your activity will help and not hinder your health.

It can also help to start small and slow with exercise, particularly if you are recovering from a period of illness or have not exercised much in a while. It also depends on your base level of fitness currently. Things like gentle walking and seated yoga can be ideal starting places.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is often caused by poor diet and lack of exercise. Obesity can dramatically increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, so exercise can be an excellent way to prevent and improve the condition. Diabetes can cause extreme highs and lows in blood sugar levels, which exercise can help to keep in control. In some cases, good exercises and diet regimens can reverse type 2 diabetes, leaving you diabetes free. Start with short daily exercises and build up the amount you do over time.

Heart Disease

Exercise and heart health are closely linked. The heart is a muscle, and every muscle can benefit and become stronger from exercise. Some of the best activities you can do to improve heart health are cardio-based, including jogging, walking, swimming and interval training. Exercise can reduce the symptoms of heart disease and even reverse the condition if exercise is implemented early enough. You should always talk to your doctor before starting a new activity if you have an existing heart disease to ensure that you do not push yourself too hard.


Getting more active can be an excellent way to reduce the chances of a stroke later in life. Strokes can have many causes, one of the most common being high blood pressure. As discussed further below, exercise can be invaluable for reducing high blood pressure.

For those who have already experienced a stroke, exercise can be an excellent way to help overcome the physical impact of the stroke on the body. Exercise after a stroke should be done under the care and supervision of a doctor or specialist physiotherapist and can help to regain the loss of function in limbs.


Fit and active people have a lower risk of developing conditions like dementia later in life. If you have a family history of dementia, exercising can help mitigate the risk of developing the condition. For people with dementia, exercise can help to improve their quality of life. Exercise may also reduce the speed at which dementia progresses, allowing those with dementia to live fuller lives even with the condition.   


A lot of cancers are linked to poor lifestyles and overall health, with obesity being one of the most significant risk factors for various cancers. You should always check with your doctor to ensure that you do not push your body too hard while in treatment for cancer. Physical fitness and exercise can improve the risk of developing cancer at any stage in life. Exercise for people with active cancer can also help boost mood and keep the body strong and healthy while undergoing treatment. 


Endometriosis is a condition that can cause chronic pain and fertility issues in people with wombs. It can be tough to treat, and people often find a concrete diagnosis difficult. In combination with other treatment forms, exercise can help manage the pain of the condition and strengthen critical areas of the body.

Exercise can also help to improve sleep and mood, both critical when dealing with a chronic condition like endometriosis. You can learn more about treating endometriosis and helpful advice from the experts at


You do not need to do a lot of exercises to see the benefits for depression, and even as little as 20 minutes a day for five days a week can boost mood and increase feel-good endorphin production. It can be hard to muster the motivation and energy for exercise if you are experiencing depression, but the benefits can be life-changing. It is even considered by many mental health medical professionals to be a more effective treatment of depression than medication.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can cause various medical issues, including heart disease, stroke and dementia. High blood pressure can be effectively managed using a combination of medication and exercise, with some people even seeing dramatic results from exercise alone. Exercise can help you manage your weight effectively and strengthen your heart health. The better you manage your weight, the less dependent you will be on blood pressure medications, and the long-term results will often be better.


Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes chronic pain and can be very hard to live with. For many, exercise might be the last thing on their minds when dealing with the condition. Still, gentle exercises like stretching, yoga and swimming can help reduce the amount of pain experienced as a result of fibromyalgia. You should listen to your body when exercising with fibromyalgia and avoid over-exerting yourself. Talk to your doctor or a physiotherapist about the best exercises to use and those to avoid.


Arthritis includes a range of issues in the body, mainly impacting the joints. It can make life difficult, and people with arthritis may need help from others to do everyday tasks. Exercises that aim to improve the range of motion in your joints can significantly negate the impact of arthritis. Options like yoga and pilates are the best for arthritis, but you should start slowly and avoid over-exerting yourself. Swimming and water-based exercises can also be invaluable, as they take the weight off your joints and allow for more effortless movement.


Anxiety is a mental health condition that can impact people of all ages and walks of life. It is characterised by a feeling of worry, dread or unease that often has no easily identifiable cause. Feelings of anxiety are normal, but when anxiety starts to impact your life and make regular activities difficult consistently, this crosses into the realm of a disorder.

Exercise can help lift your mood, energise you and make sleep easier. It can also be an excellent form of self-care and a great way to take your mind off your anxiety. Some people with anxiety find that exercise alone is enough to make the condition manageable, though others may benefit from the addition of anxiety medications to help.


Exercise has been found to help control the severity and regularity of asthma attacks. It is essential to be cautious when exercising with asthma, particularly in more severe cases. Exercising in cold weather can sometimes exacerbate asthma, so it is best to talk to your doctor for recommendations on when and how to exercise. Exercise can also boost lung capacity and function, which is crucial for managing asthma.

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  • SWEET, J. (2022) Exercise and Fitness Training [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Jessica Sweet is a freelance journalist.