Exercise is Medicine

Regular physical exercise has the potential to improve health outcomes, longevity and quality of life across almost all cohorts. It also has the ability to deliver similar therapeutic effects as traditional medications for long-term prevention of chronic conditions without the unnecessary side effects.


There is encouraging evidence that individuals who move from the "unfit" to the "fit" category, can have up to a 44% reduction in all-cause mortality.
Similarly, the value of prehab exercise to aid recovery after a wide range of surgical interventions and operations such as joint replacement, is also becoming more widely acknowledged and adopted.
Currently in New Zealand, there have been few rehabilitative programmes or ongoing support offered to patients when they are newly diagnosed or discharged. The founders of The ExerScience Clinic recognised this gap in care, and the idea of this clinic was born.


↑ Cardiorespiratory Fitness

- The primary functions of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems are to provide the body with oxygen and nutrients and to clear carbon dioxide and metabolic waste products.

- With long term exercise training your cardiac muscle fibres increase in size which means the heart becomes more efficient and more blood can be delivered to your working muscles during exercise.

- How can you measure cardiorespiratory fitness?

- Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) using gas analysis is the gold standard for measuring cardiorespiratory fitness.

-At The ExerScience Clinic we accurately measure your VO2max with an ECG integrated maximal exercise test.

- A higher VO2max means that your body is able to utilize more oxygen during exercise. Therefore your body can cope with exercise at higher intensities, for longer.

- Why is cardiorespiratory exercise training important?

- Higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with a large number of health benefits, as well as reduced risk of morbidity and mortality.

- A 5% to 10% drop in cardiorespiratory fitness per decade is noted after age 40, which accelerates as individuals enter their 60s and 70s. But the good news is that individuals who start with higher aerobic capacity and continue their activity habits throughout life maintain a greater fitness level at all points in the aging spectrum. 

 

 ↑ Flexibility

- Flexibility is the ability to move a joint through its complete range of movement

- Why is flexibility important?

- Flexibility is important to carry out activities of daily living

- Poor flexibility may contribute to musculoskeletal injuries and pain

- We lose flexibility as we age

↓ Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors

- Regular exercise helps to reduce blood pressure

- As your heart becomes stronger, it can pump more blood with less effort which decreases the force on your arteries. Exercise also improves the vasodilatory response of blood vessels which allows blood to flow with less resistance.

- Becoming more active can lower your systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) by an average of 4-9 mmHg. That's as good as some blood pressure medications. 

-At The ExerScience Clinic we will monitor your blood pressure before, during and after your exercise session.

- Regular exercise reduces cholesterol

- Moderate physical activity can help increase the "good" cholesterol (HDL) and this helps to carry cholesterol back to your liver and prevents the buildup of “bad” cholesterol in your arteries.

- Exercise improves blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity

- During exercise, your body burns glycogen, a form of glucose that is stored in your muscles. After exercise, your muscles replenish their glycogen stores with glucose from the bloodstream. The more glycogen that is burned during a bout of activity, the longer the body’s insulin sensitivity is improved.

- Improves body composition

- Reduces fat mass and increases lean tissue mass.

- At The ExerScience Clinic we are able to accurately measure body composition using DXA scanning.


 ↑ Balance

- Why is balance important?

- As we age, our balance becomes impaired and this can increase the risk of falls

- In turn, this can increase fracture risk as bone health is also compromised as we age

↑ Muscular Power and Endurance

- The primary purpose of the musculoskeletal system is to move the body.

- Resistance-trained skeletal muscle exerts considerably more force because of both increased muscle size (hypertrophy) and increased muscle fiber recruitment.

- How can you measure muscular strength and endurance?

- Muscular strength refers to the force that can be generated by a specific muscle or muscle group.

- At The ExerScience Clinic we are able to accurately measure lower body, upper body and lower back strength.

- Why is resistance training important?

- We lose muscle mass and strength as we age- 5-10% per decade after the age of 50 years.

- Muscular strength is important to maintain functionality and independence.

- Resistance training is important for maintaining good bone health.

- Muscle tissue is important for blood glucose control.

- Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue- therefore maintaining adequate muscle mass is helpful for weight maintenance.

 

 ↑ Mood

- Exercise decreases anxiety/depression and improves cognitive function

- There is evidence that exercise alleviates chronic depression by increasing serotonin (the neurotransmitter targeted by antidepressants) or brain-derived neurotrophic factor (which supports the growth of neurons).

- Exercise releases endorphins which trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine

- Improves sleep quality