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Exercise is effective, there’s no doubt
There is no doubt that exercise is efficacious for treating and preventing multiple chronic conditions. Evidence supports exercise prescription for treating at least 26 different chronic conditions,1 cumulatively affecting 117 million people. The question is, how to prescribe exercise to ensure patients benefit optimally? How much (or little) is enough?
Not all exercise is created equal
Different exercises types (such as aerobic activities, resistance training and balance/proprioceptive exercises) serve different purposes and can all be effective. However, not all activities are equally effective for different parameters of health, function or performance. The desired outcomes and prescription parameters will vary depending on the exercise modality, as will the physiological mechanisms and responses underpinning the exercise prescription. This underscores the need to consider specific prescription and doses relative to exercise modalities in research interventions.
So, what works?
As an example, many clinical practice guidelines for musculoskeletal conditions recommend resistance training (e.g., National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines for osteoarthritis),2 but lack specific details on how/what to prescribe. The literature is difficult to synthesise, as …
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