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Manage Disease with Exercise

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Manage Disease with Exercise

We all know exercise can keep us in top cardiovascular condition, but did you know it can also help ward off certain diseases?

Research shows physical inactivity is a primary cause of most chronic diseases. If you suffer from such a condition, it’s not too late to start moving. Colette Cole, Professional Fitness Trainer and Director of Female Focus, shares how exercise can help keep disease symptoms in check.

Benefits of exercise

Exercise has proven to be one of the most powerful tools when it comes to not only preventing certain chronic diseases, but keeping symptoms at bay. One study found exercise helps reduces disease-related symptoms in conditions such as osteoarthritis, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. 

“Exercise can help regulate blood pressure, decrease cardiovascular risk factors, improve joint function and bone health and even decrease cancer risk,” says Cole.

Cole knows all about disease management. She leads Cooper Fitness Center’s Female Focus program, a class specifically for women to help them improve their health through education and fitness.

“Many participants in Female Focus are suffering from diseases such as osteoporosis/osteopenia, breast cancer, arthritis, joint issues and high blood pressure,” says Cole.

The group meets twice a week for about an hour. In that time, participants work on improving their strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. The program is tailored to meet each individual's needs. 

“These classes have been life-changing for some participants,” says Cole. “They’ve seen both physical and mental improvements. Many have improved or maintained their bone health and some have even reduced their blood pressure to the point they’ve been taken off their blood pressure medication.”

Types of exercise

When it comes to exercising for disease management, Cole says strive to perform a combination of:

  • Aerobic exercise 
  • Strength training
  • Flexibility/mobility
  • Balance

Multiplanar exercises, moving side-to-side and front-to-back, help improve coordination and balance and make performing daily tasks easier. Examples include:

“Utilize exercise equipment such as cables, medicine balls, bands and core boards,” says Cole. Such equipment can help challenge different muscles groups simultaneously.

Exercising with others who suffer from chronic diseases can also help keep you going.

“The power of exercising in a small group is incredible,” says Cole. “Not only is it motivating, but it helps with accountability, offers a team mentality and boosts your self-confidence.”

For more information about Cooper Fitness Center’s Female Focus program, visit or call 972.233.4832.