Sedentary lifestyle, physical inactivity ,and „screen time“ are among the three most significant risk factors for diseases, especially for cardiovascular diseases. Further, they are risk factors for metabolic, neuropsychiatric, oncological and other diseases (Table 1). According to actual surveys, only 41 to 59 % of the population are physically active (Figure 1-4), with more active people in the northern countries of Europe and with low activity in southern and eastern countries. For example, 51 % (men) and 49.5 % (women) are active once a week, but only 25.4% (men) and 15.5% (women) perform regular activity (150 min a week) in Germany.
On the other hand, regular physical activity has so much pleiotropic effects thus reducing the mortality and morbidity risk by prevention, therapy and rehabilitation. Physical exercise also improves longevity, quality of life and autonomy in the elderly.
Beyond this scope, exercise acts like a therapy. There are evidence based indications for movement, training and exercise,. Individual doses can be adapted, there. There is a clear non-linear dose – response relationship indicating that the most important step is change from sedentary lifestyle to any kind of physical activity.
There are clear cut indications for physical activity, movement, training and exercise. The patho-physiological mechanisms has have been examined in depth. Epidemiological results are overwhelming. Health effects are somatic as well as psychoactive,. Side effects are rare but possible,. Contraindications are also rare and have to be considered.
It is from of utmost importance to motivate people to regular physical activity at any age, from kindergarden up to the octogenarians and more. Training recommendations should be tailored on an individual basis as part of a personalized medical approach.
The present booklet gives information on the underlying mechanism, the kind of training and exercise prescription, and the beneficial effects of exercise. Further, physical activity is one of the most important approaches showing that health can be managed by any subject by himself. Therefore, everybody can, to a certain extent, prevent diseases, maintain and promote health by changing or maintaining lifestyle by means of regular exercise and a healthy, Mediterranean diet.
The present booklet gives information on how to handle exercise prescription for prevention and therapy with detailed background information on training recommendations for special situations, different diseases and the individual need of subjects and patients.