Prevent or Manage Chronic Disease

In addressing the 1st Global Ministerial Conference on Healthy Lifestyle and Non Communicable Disease Control in 2011 the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that these diseases are ”the most serious threats to health in the 21st Century”.  Non communicable diseases (NCDs) are defined as non-infectious and cannot be spread from human to human.

Currently, NCDs are the leading cause of death, disease and long-term disability worldwide. Later that same year the United Nations launched an attack on reducing the risk factors that underlie the largely preventable four major groups of NCDs cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and some forms of cancer that cause a huge burden both to the individual and the economy.

Most of these chronic diseases are the result of four common behaviours (insufficient physical activity; elevated consumption of energy-dense, nutrient poor foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt; harmful use of alcohol; tobacco use) that lead to four key metabolic and physiological changes (overweight/obesity; raised blood pressure; raised cholesterol; raised blood glucose).  In the 2014 WHO Global Status Report the prevalence of obesity has doubled since 1980 and disturbingly 42 million children under the age of five are overweight or obese. At the same time the decrease in physical activity and increase in sedentary behaviour has escalated.

Physical activity determines energy expenditure and is fundamental to weight control but the health benefits of activity extend beyond weight loss for the prevention and management of chronic disease. The clinical benefits of regular physical activity include:

Health Concern Outcome
Cardiovascular Health Improved coronary blood flow and circulation; reduced systolic blood pressure; strengthened cardiac muscle.
Metabolism Increased energy expenditure; improved blood lip profile by increasing high-density lipoprotein and reducing triglyceride; improving glycaemic control and insulin sensitivity by increasing active muscle.
Bone Strength, Muscle Mass and Body Composition Slow the decline in bone mineral density with weight-bearing exercise; increased muscle mass; reduced risk of falls; improved joint function; reduced abdominal adipose tissue.
Mental Health Decreases levels of stress-related hormones; decreases anxiety and improves mood; improves sleep quality.

Life Fit Cairns provides the following services for preventing or managing chronic disease:-

  • Review of medical and physical activity history
  • Identify risk factors for chronic disease
  • Strength and functional assessment
  • Exercise prescription for cardiovascular, metabolic, muscle, bone and mental health

At Life Fit Cairns individual client assessment is imperative for understanding the current level of physical activity and how this level can be improved. Our focus is the long-term commitment of our clients to self-managed activity programs.