• Daniel Braun

Podcast Notes: Exercise is Good!

Haven't listened to this episode yet? Click here to open the episode in anchor, or click here to get to the podcast channel on Spotify.

In this episode, I’m joined by Kaylee Kleffel, ACSM-CPT and Inclusive Exercise Specialist, and one of my fellow classmates in graduate school, to discuss the benefits of exercise and general activity. Physical activity refers to any bodily movements produced by voluntary muscle contraction which cause an increase in energy expenditure over resting levels. Exercise is a subtype of physical activity: planned, repetitive and structured physical activity. With the current COVID-19 situation set to continue for the next few weeks at the minimum, I’ve heard from many people who feel they’re falling behind on their exercise and activity levels, doing less than they normally do. For more on Kaylee, you can follow her on Instagram @kaylee_kleffel.

In this episode, we reviewed:

  • Exercise statistics

  • Why is exercise/activity so good?

  • How to incorporate exercise into your daily life, and examples

And more!

Exercise Statistics

  • Recall the Physical Activity (PA) Guidelines for Aerobic and Resistance Training

  • Only 23.2% of Americans over the age of 18 meet the recommendations for both according to CDC data. Let’s think about that. Less than 1 in 4 people meet these basic guidelines.


  • More than 80% of the world's adolescent population is insufficiently physically active.

  • Insufficient PA = one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide.

  • Insufficient PA = a key risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as CVD, cancers and T2DM - extended further to obesity, lipidemia, metabolic syndrome, HTN, etc.

  • PA has significant health benefits and contributes to prevention of NCDs.


  • Overweight & Obesity Rate is NEARLY 70% (it may have surpassed this already)


  • Youfa Wang article (Wang et al. 2008): “ If these trends continue, by 2030, 86.3% adults will be overweight or obese; and 51.1%, obese” … “By 2048, all American adults would become overweight or obese”


Why is exercise/activity so good?

  • Also a common myth that you can “beat” your poor diet by working out excessively. DIET WILL ALWAYS SUFFICE. Poor diet + good exercise does not work. We need to emphasize incorporation of the 2 to truly promote a healthy lifestyle with IMPROVED QOL

  • PA reduces risk of all-cause mortality. You’re less likely to die from ALL causes!

  • Cardiovascular and pulmonary: Reduced incidence of CVD (dose relation), increased VO2 max, can help to prevent or treat T2DM (which has more ramifications than just the CVP system). Increased parasympathetic drive leading to lower resting HR (heart becomes more efficient)

  • Musculoskeletal: Benefits for muscle functioning, prevention of sarcopenia, joint health, fat-free mass, bone density, increased independence, etc.

  • Cognitive and neuro: Reduced risk of strokes, increased mental well-being, possible intervention for depression, potential link with activity levels and Alzeheimer’s/Dementia??

  • Immune & integumentary: Inverse relation between PA levels & obesity (the more you exercise, the less likely you are to be obese). Obesity and the inflammation it brings can impact your immune system’s ability to fight infection, the integumentary system’s ability to heal tissues, etc. DM also plays in here as well, especially when prolonged.

  • Endocrine, Reproductive, GI & Urinary. I know most people don’t like to talk about these things, but they’re SO SO important. Consider the impact of obesity and DM on testosterone & estrogen levels. These both play into reproductive health. You’ll also see an impact in other hormones such as insulin, growth hormone, leptin, epi/norepi, etc. Obesity can actually be caused by hormone dysfunction (Thyroid). Also, consider the impact of exercise on your bowel/bladder habits: ever get 15 minutes into a walk or run and get hit with that “gotta go” feeling?

References: ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing & Prescription, and Exercise Physiology (Scott Powers book). Both are textbooks and are phenomenal for learning about exercise. I highly recommend these to any trainer/coach

How to incorporate exercise into your daily life, and examples

  • Just move!

  • Greasing the groove

  • Take your work on the go

  • Change your method of transportation

  • Take the physically demanding roles

*Note - we experienced a slight decrease in recording quality during the audio processing and episode publishing. I’m sorry about this!!

Information in this post and podcast episode is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or condition. Consult your primary care provider prior to making any changes in your diet or lifestyle habits as discussed.


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