Exercise: Pain Reduction and Preventing Disease Progression By: sarah Miller

Healthy People 2020 Objective: Physical Activity

It is extremely important for people of all ages to get up, get active, and limit time spent sitting down. With exercise and physical activity, not only does the physical body gain strength, but you also attain better sleep patterns, emotional health, mental health, and an overall sense of well being.

Obstacles to overcome

"Fewer than 5% of adults exercise at recommended levels, and activity levels decrease markedly with age..." (Petry 1)

There are many barriers that prevent one from exercising throughout the course of life. Although these factors may be preventing adequate exercise. you must consider the tremendous benefits that physical activity will provide. When the benefits outweigh the risks, get active!

"...exercise (aerobic and resistance training) has been shown to reduce pain; delay disability; improve physical function, postural sway, quality of life, aerobic capacity, and muscle strength; and reduce the risk of other chronic conditions among individuals..." (Wilcox et. al, 616).

Physical activity plays a major role in maintaining a healthy heart, hence preventing further complications.

Exercise can decrease many contributing factors to heart disease. Including: low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the bad kind of cholesterol), triglycerides (fats circulating in the blood), blood sugar levels, inflammation in general, and particularly systolic blood pressure. These particles are typically elevated in the over weight population, and people who live a relatively sedentary lifestyle. By reducing these negative elements found in the blood, the heart doesn't have to work as hard to circulate blood thought the body. Less stress on the heart allows it to recover and heal. Limiting these harmful substances are crucial to decreasing heart complications and disease progression.

"... a tailored exercise program of 200 min per week of moderate endurance intensity added by resistance training improves cardiorespiratory exercise capacity and burden of AFib..." (Halle et. al 1257).

However, clients with atrial fibrillation should take caution during exercise. Although the exact mechanisms are not known, there is a link found between repetitive, high intensity, endurance training, and exacerbations of atrial fibrillation (Guasch 73).

In moderation, and low intensity, exercise should never be avoided. The benefits highly outweigh the risks.

Alternatives to high-intensity cardio workouts, minimizing the chance of pain and adverse effects...

Swimming and Aquatic Exercise

Beneficial aquatic exercises include, but are not limited to: bounces, jogging, kicks, twists, jumping jacks and side steps. As well as walking and aqua jogging with weights.

These provide non-weight bearing isometric exercises that keep the joints moving, and blood pumping all while preventing the negative consequences related to pounding on joints and exacerbation of heart arrhythmias.

"Participants experienced a significant decrease in pain, as well as several other significant outcomes including improved motor functioning; enhanced self-efficacy and reduced depression; decreased body fat; improved range of motion; and, improved quality of life..." (Davis 328)

Recommendations on Selecting an Aquatic Workout Plan

Remember to avoid extensive strenuous activity and chronic endurance training to prevent heart related problems (Davis 329)

Yoga and Meditation

The practice of yoga has become an increasing trend, and has numerous health benefits. Yoga not only is a physical strengthening exercise, but also is composed of meditation, breathing practices, and guidance to establishing proper posture.

"Practicing yoga may aid in the prevention and management of multiple chronic conditions, including depression, stress, anxiety, menopausal symptoms, arthritis, low back pain, cancer, car- diovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes" (Alexander et. al 15).

All of the Benefits:

  • Joint pain relief
  • Improved range of motion
  • Muscle strengthening
  • Improved cardiopulmonary functioning
  • Coping mechanisms to deal with chronic pain
  • Enhanced stress reduction, anxiety management, and calmness
  • Better sleep quailty
  • Improved dietary choices and attitudes towards healthy eating

(Alexander et. al 25)


Walking to the mailbox, to the grocery store, playing with the dogs, etc. are all prime examples of ways to get up and active. Remember to do so in moderation, and if mild or moderate pain does occur it is okay, but do not let it get too severe. With age, the joints get more fragile and may need ample time to warm up to movements of everyday life.

"Low to moderate intensity physical activity such as walking can enhance lean body mass, increase strength, and improve cardiac function" (Petry et. al 1).

Who knew it could be this easy to better your health as well as your overall life?

Whether a mental reminder, written motivation, or a pedometer is used; it is extremely important for people of all ages to get active and make sure that they are attaining adequate physical exercise throughout the day.

"Walking 10,000 or more steps per day (nearly 5 miles) is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine, and this level of ambulatory activity has substantial benefits on fitness levels and cardiometabolic health." (Petry et. al 2)

It's Time For Action


Exercise is an important component in every single persons' life. It promotes a healthy lifestyle as well as aids in decreasing numerous negative health problems. It is important to stay active and conscious of your body. Although there are barriers that we must overcome, there is always an alternative to achieve these goals.


The community center, recreation center, schools, gymnasiums, studios, and even your backyard are places to go and get active!

Most communities have pools and classes that offer aquatic exercise programs for a small price. If you are lucky enough to have a backyard pool, the exercises can even be preformed there. Just make sure there is always someone else keeping an eye out, whether it be a life guard or someone whom you trust in case of an accident.

Yoga studios have grown exponentially throughout the past decade, increasing the likelihood that there's a center near you! If no classes are available, yoga can even be performed in the comfort of your home. There are numerous youtube videos out there with instructors that have recorded lessons tailored to suit your needs.

Walking, of course, can be done anywhere and anytime, as long as you are motivated to do so. Either write down reminders or motivations to yourself in order to get your steps in, and get active. Also, a pedometer is a great tool to invest in. It keeps track of the number of steps taken each day, and can be accommodated for your personal goals. By knowing how active you truly are from the pedometer information, the encouragement stays strong, and the likelihood of walking is higher compared to when no pedometer is in use.

Physical Activity is crucial to a happy and healthy life; not only the physical aspect, but also the whole body and mind. I hope you have learned something today, and are motivated to make a change in your life. Get out, and get active!


Alexander, Gina K., Kim E. Innes, Terry K. Selfe, and Cynthia J. Brown. ""More than I Expected": Perceived Benefits of Yoga Practice among Older Adults at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease." Complementary Therapies in Medicine 21.1 (2013): 14-28. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

Davis, Jamie, and Rhonda Nelson. "Aquatic Exercise for Pain Management in Older Adults with Osteoarthritis." Therapeutic Recreation Journal 49.4 (2015): 326. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

Guasch, Eduard, Begoña Benito, Xiaoyan Qi, Carlo Cifelli, Patrice Naud, Yanfen Shi, Alexandra Mighiu, Jean-Claude Tardif, Artavazd Tadevosyan, Yu Chen, Marc-Antoine Gillis, Yu-Ki Iwasaki, Dobromir Dobrev, Lluis Mont, Scott Heximer, and Stanley Nattel. "Atrial Fibrillation Promotion by Endurance Exercise: Demonstration and Mechanistic Exploration in an Animal Model." Journal of the American College of Cardiology 62.1 (2013): 68. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

Halle, Martin, Volker Adams, Frank Edelmann, Burkert Pieske, and Ulrik Wisløff. "Benefit of Exercise in Atrial Fibrillation." Journal of the American College of Cardiology 67.10 (2016): 1257-258. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.

Petry, Nancy M., Leonardo F. Andrade, Danielle Barry, and Shannon Byrne. "A Randomized Study of Reinforcing Ambulatory Exercise in Older Adults." Psychology and Aging 28.4 (2013): 1164-173. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.

Wilcox, Sara, Cheryl Der Ananian, Jill Abbott, Joellen Vrazel, Cornelia Ramsey, Patricia A. Sharpe, and Teresa Brady. "Perceived Exercise Barriers, Enablers, and Benefits among Exercising and Nonexercising Adults with Arthritis: Results from a Qualitative Study." Arthritis and Rheumatism 55.4 (2006): 616-27. Web. 7 Mar. 2017.


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