Exercise and physical activity are an obligatory part of health and a healthy lifestyle: health needs regular exercise and physical activity. The aim of physical activity is not only health and general fitness in everyday life, but also well-being and in particular self-determination and autonomy in old age.
Lack of exercise is one of the three most important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Many studies have shown that regular physical activity can prevent many diseases. Also for therapy physical activity can be used. Physical activity has positive effects on various diseases and functional limitations. The best example is diabetes mellitus. Heart failure also can be treated effectively and well tolerated with physical training. A larger number of diseases can be prevented by regular physical activity, most of which are also suitable for therapy through physical activity.
Physical activity can reduce the risk of disease by about 20-30%. This is comparable to some monotherapies in evidence-based drug therapies. Not to mention the improvements in quality of life.
Numerous institutions and state institutes recommend the intensity with which sport should be practiced as prevention. There are certain indications, an individual dosage is possible, there is a dose-response relationship, physical and psychoactive effects are proven, side effects are rare, contraindications are mainly acute diseases. Organizations such as the USA (NIH, US Government, WHO, HEPA) have developed new recommendations for physical training on the basis of studies. These follow the "FITT"- rule (in German FIDA), namely training according to frequency, intensity, duration of the training unit and type of training). Of importance to these new recommendations is that a clear relationship between risk reduction as a hard endpoint and training intensity or training scope is non-linear. The decisive reduction of the risk therefore occurs during moderate physical activity. A further increase in the intensity and scope of training only slightly reduces the risk. A larger training scope is only necessary if the performance is to be increased, for example with ambitious recreational athletes or activities with competitive character. From a preventive point of view, however, moderate training activities are sufficient; even regular "walking", i.e. fast walking or "north walking", can have effective training effects. Training recommendations for various clinical pictures as well as prevention can be found in current tables on the EFSMA homepage (www.EFSMA.eu).
Physical activity reduces premature mortality and prolongs life, reduces the frequency of disease, but above all, physical activity increases the quality of life, well-being and improves independence, especially in older people.