We all know exercise is good for our health. But doctors say many people need to put a little muscle into their workout to really feel the benefits.
Dr. Salvatore Lacagnina, an internal medicine physician with Lee Health, says if you’re over the age of 40 and haven’t developed a consistent exercise program you need to check with your doctor before you start exercising. “When we talk about foundations for healthy living obviously exercise needs to be in there. What should you do as far as your exercise? How often should you do it? What’s your intensity? If you can exercise and you can have a healthy nutrition program, often times that’s just as effective as taking medication for high blood pressure, for high cholesterol, for diabetes, for weight control, there are so many benefits to lifestyle therapies.”
But there’s a big part of exercise that patients often neglect. “It’s really interesting that a lot of people as they get older do cardio exercises, they ride their bike, they swim, they run, or walk, but they skip the weight lifting. People that don’t weight lift often times have higher weight because they gain more body fat as time goes on,” said Dr. Lacagnina.
The more muscle you build, the more calories your body will naturally burn each day on its own. Many doctors are not only recommending their patients become more active, they’re now prescribing it. “I actually have a sheet and it looks like a prescription pad and I actually write the prescription for them because when people leave the office they often forget things you said or they don’t remember to do it the way you told them,” said Dr. Lacagnina.
Doctors typically recommend a few days of aerobic exercise and a few days of lifting weights. “Whether you’re doing free weights or resistance machines, bands, whatever, you need to do something for strength and build muscle,” said Dr. Lacagnina.
Both forms of exercise can help improve your overall health and prevent serious medical conditions.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.