Medical schools encouraging doctors to recommend exercise

Physical activity can improve memory, concentration and mood

NEW YORK (CNN) – Most of us know exercise is good for us whether we do it or not.

These days, medical schools are encouraging up-and-coming doctors to recommend exercise for their patients.

Exercise has far-reaching effects for almost every body system, from the brain to the heart. Now, at least two medical schools are teaching students how to prescribe exercise as a way to prevent a variety of ailments.

Physical activity can improve memory, concentration and mood while helping lower high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Evidence suggests it has positive effects for some cancer patients. It also helps control type two diabetes, one of the most expensive diseases in the country. Treating diabetes and all its complications costs billions of dollars a year, but it is largely preventable through diet and exercise.

Experts recommend adults get 75 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. That breaks down to about 30 minutes five days weekly.

Doctors say that’s enough to prevent or manage many common chronic diseases, from type two diabetes to hypertension to cardiovascular disease.

You don’t have to go to the gym, either go for a walk, work in the yard. Even doing brisk housework helps. The rewards are definitely worth the effort.