Chronic diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes) are the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 63% of mortality.
These WHO figures are sufficient in themselves to show how high the current level of fatality due to chronic diseases is today.
According to The World Health Organization, "In 2008, 29% of the 36 million people who died of chronic diseases in the world were under 60, half of whom were women."
High blood pressure, obesity and depression can even be added to this list of sometimes-fatal diseases.
One of the common denominators of all of these diseases is the lack of hygiene, particularly due to sedentariness – the lack of physical activity.
However, it has been proven that sport can actually limit the occurrence of neurodegenerative or autoimmune diseases, as well as heart, blood or tissue diseases.
Doing sports and being supported by a personal sports coach should therefore be the first port of call to treat such diseases before resorting to medical treatment.
So here at Superprof we’ve put together a list for our readers of various conditions that can be treated with personal training!
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Should You Start Personal Training if You Have High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure, commonly known as a ‘silent killer’, affects 1 in 4 people in the UK, with over 5 million people not realising they have it.
High blood pressure is a really dangerous cardiovascular disease as it carries a risk of heart failure, heart attacks and stroke.
The identified causes are:
- Heredity, if you have a family history of high blood pressure
- Lifestyle (smoking, drinking, poor nutrition)
- Lack of physical activity
Scientific studies are unanimous on one point: sports activities play an important role in reducing the risk of developing heart disease.
You might think it’s dangerous to play sports if you have high blood pressure. But it’s actually the opposite! Personal training prevents atherosclerosis in blood vessels and thrombosis, promotes blood circulation, transforms fat into muscles and reduces blood pressure.
People with high blood pressure who start doing sports, whether for weight loss or fitness, just need to be careful to take the following precautions:
- Seek medical advice before you start
- Get a cardiac echo – a sonogram of the heart
- Measure your blood pressure
- Avoid sports activities that are too intense and or vigorous for your chest
- Do 3 to 4 workouts per week
- Measure your heart rate during exertion
- Make sure you warm up and cool down properly before and after sports
- Move a little every day: walking, cycling, taking the stairs
- Do breathing exercises
- Eat nutritious food and stay well hydrated
Remember that some top athletes also suffer from high blood pressure due to heredity, but doing sports helps them to deal with the illness.
This is why medical professionals recommend a personal coaching program with a personal sports coach uk to treat high blood pressure. The advantages of sport and its benefits on physical and mental health speak for themselves!
High blood pressure is a painless condition that doesn’t just affect overweight or obese people - you can proudly display a washboard stomach and still have high blood pressure.
However, people that do physical activity, whether at home or in the gym, will strengthen their heart as they get fitter, thus reducing its systolic pressure.
What activities are best to reduce high blood pressure?
- Endurance sports
- Walking up to an hour a day
- Fitness sessions at the gym or at home
Overcoming Obesity with Personal Training
According to WHO, 1.4 billion people aged 20 and over in the world are overweight. By 2030, the number of overweight people is expected to reach 3.3 billion.
Obesity is defined by a person’s body mass index being too high: if a person’s BMI is above 25, they are classed as overweight, and if it is above 30 they are classed as obese.
But obesity is completely reversible, and someone diagnosed with obesity can regain a fit and healthy physique once again! But how?
Through physical activity!
Depending on body size and physical ability, a slimming program with personalised coaching must be adapted to the individual. When losing weight, it’s important to take it slow for healthy and long-lasting effects.
Losing weight doesn’t mean working like a high-level athlete – it’s about regaining physical and mental fitness through a personalised course with an expert weight-loss coach.
To achieve this, a weight-loss coach will set up an optimized nutritional program to work in correspondence with the sports activities you’ll be doing, such as swimming, aerobics, Zumba, walking, cycling, etc.
There are so many benefits of physical activity for overweight and obese people. Doing regular exercise burns fat and builds muscle, therefore speeding up the weight-loss process. It also helps reduce cellulite, a problem which is particularly prominent in women.
Don’t be fooled though – weight-loss can’t be achieved overnight. But with great determination, you’ll start seeing results fast!
For best results, make sure you make the following efforts:
- Adapt your activity to suit your physical condition
- Be as active as possible - walk every day, be less sedentary
- Aim for two or three workouts a week to get into shape
- Have a healthy and balanced diet
- Avoid alcohol, smoking and nibbling
Make sure that you don’t overdo it in terms of physical effort, as this can do more harm than good for someone with a sedentary lifestyle. This can cause serious injuries, so it’s best to take it slow and build up your fitness levels slowly.
The risks of over-exertion include:
- Cardiovascular injury
- Developing metabolic and respiratory disorders
- Developing high blood pressure
- Joint pain and injury
- Adopting bad posture
By all means, start doing more physical activity, but do so slowly at a pace to suit your cardiac and respiratory capacities.
Helping Diabetes with Personal Training
A report carried out by Diabetes UK shows that, since 1996, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has risen from 1.4 million to 3.5 million.
It’s also predicted that up to 549,000 people in the UK have diabetes that hasn’t yet been diagnosed, meaning that in total there is estimated to be over 4 million people living with diabetes in the UK today.
This represents 6% of the UK population, with 1 in every 16 people having diabetes, both diagnosed and undiagnosed.
There are two types of diabetes: type one is distinguished as auto-immune and insulin-dependent, and type two is a metabolic disorder that results in high blood sugar levels.
This blood sugar disorder results from pancreatic dysfunction in insulin secretion, or from an inability of insulin to penetrate muscle tissue.
A diabetic person is therefore subjected to hypoglycaemic or hyperglycaemic attacks, as their body is unable to regulate blood glucose levels. However, with the guidance of a personal trainer, it’s possible to fight against this.
Make sure that before taking any classes with a trainer you consult a doctor and have a check-up so that you don’t put yourself at risk.
The advice from your doctor will help determine the rhythm and intensity of your physical activity so that you can maintain a safe blood sugar level, and you can know the precautions to take, such as what insulin dose to take should you need it.
In order to stay safe when exercising, always make sure you:
- Systematically check your blood sugar levels during and after physical exertion
- Always have a small sweet snack to hand
- Always carry your blood glucose test kit
- Maintain good communication with your trainer and don’t hesitate to mention any issues
- Adopt a careful nutrition programme, free from added sugars
Doing sports activities - whether at home or in the gym – helps to regulate blood sugar levels in the body: it has a hypoglycaemic effect, as you have more glucose in your blood before exercise.
Any physical activity - such as cardio, stretching, Pilates, weight training, abdominal exercises, Zumba, swimming, running - will always help in preventing the complications of diabetes.
This is because exercise burns the fat which prevents glucose from entering cells, therefore making insulin production more efficient. So it guarantees therapeutic effects for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes!
People with diabetics will benefit from more low-intensity activities that allow for more prolonged efforts, such as walking, jogging, cycling and swimming.
Treating Depression with Personal Training
Regular physical activity is known to help produce the hormones that make us feel happy, healthy and positive.
Around 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer from depression or anxiety, but doing more sports and exercise could help to prevent this and reduce the figures.
When you exercise, even small cardio or stretching exercises, you naturally feel better. It boosts our self-confidence, brain function, and our physical and mental health in general. Remember that the human body isn’t naturally an inert object – it needs to move!
Physical activity effects the chemistry of the human body – it’s like taking a powerful natural antidepressant, without the harmful side effects.
Training with a personal fitness trainer – whether you’re doing yoga, cycling, jogging, weight training, Pilates - releases neurotransmitters such as endorphins, dopamine, melatonin and serotonin, which help regulate our well-being and happiness.
When a person is depressed, they have an insufficient amount of these hormones, which is why physical activity makes it possible to produce hormones to regulate our emotions, and thus fight depression.
Depression can make a person completely withdraw from a social life, and it can get to the point where even the smallest things like going out for a drink can be overwhelming and impossible.
Exercise also allows people to socialize after periods of isolation, which makes it easier to deal with stress and anxiety, and helps people regain self-confidence.
Personal training therefore acts as a sort of non-medicinal psychotherapy, because in addition to improving the client’s physical condition, it also actively helps to cure depression.
This is because exercise builds up muscle tissue, therefore increasing the level of oxygen in the human body and rebalances our emotions more effectively than antidepressants! Exercise and depression is definitely a good match!
Preventing Cancer from Reoccurring with Personal Training
Let sports coaching help you in the fight against cancer. Photo via Visual huntCould sports coaching really help in treating cancer?
It could! Studies have shown that adapted and regular physical activity could "limit relapse by 40% and improve survival by 40%."
Doing regular physical activity improves the regeneration of viable cells and reduces the spread of cancer cells that the immune system can’t detect.
Although diabetics or overweight people should be wary of intensive sports activities, researchers and sports coaches actually advise the opposite in regard to cancerous diseases.If breast cancer, colon cancer, or any other tumour cell has just been detected, then intensive sport is advised.
Personal training also plays a key role in the treatment of cancer, as its individualised program can actually help prevent some recurrences.
Physical activity and training with a personal trainer will:
- Reduce the level of cytokines in the blood, thus eliminating the feeling of intense fatigue
- Prevent weight gain, a risk factor for recurrence
- Use personalised training avoid muscle destruction associated with weakening
There are numerous scientific studies which show the benefits of sports and exercise in treating cancer. One study in particular, published in October 2016, involved 1,544 patients, two-thirds of whom were women with breast cancer.
Following a tailored exercise plan, 99% of patients reported improvement in quality of life and well-being, and through this 83% ended up discovering new ways to feel better and reduce fatigue and pain.
Regular physical activity helps to:
- Reduce the risk of recurrence by 50%
- Prepare the body for treatment
- Reduce the risk of postoperative complications
- Fight against fatigue
- Increase the chances of survival
So as we can see, the more active the individual, the better the chances of beating the disease.
When the human body is physically active it releases lots of hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and melatonin, which help healthy cells tackle cancer cells.
You don’t need to train like an athlete, but a personal training program will improve feelings of fatigue and help with the treatment of immunotherapy or chemotherapy.
And there are so many activities you can try:
- Cardio and interval training
- Stretching, yoga, Pilates
- Weight training
- Jogging, running
- Fitness classes such as Zumba, HIIT, spinning
Those who think that cancer will stop you from staying active are mistaken. Just take a look at the incredible journeys of Lance Armstrong and Eric Abidal - top athletes who won the fight against cancer!