Chronic Disease and Exercise

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SummaryWith current trends in health consciousness, physicians are being asked to counsel individuals with chronic diseases who are involved in exercise programs. To accomplish this goal, health care providers should understand the effects of exercise on these individuals. Previously, epileptics were precluded from physical activity. Recent data reveals that exercise can be beneficial for epileptics. Therefore, in most cases, these individuals should be encouraged to participate in exercise programs. Asthmatics should be encouraged to participate in regular exercise to improve cardiovascular and respiratory fitness levels. For asthmatics, a proper exercise program can lead to an increased threshold before the stimulation of exercise-induced asthma occurs. The benefits of exercise for diabetics have been recognized for many decades. Exercise should be combined with appropriate diabetic education. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the number one cause of sudden death in young adults. HCM is a contraindication to strenuous exercise, but with proper medical management low-intensity exercise may be safely accomplished.

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