Exercise and Fresh Food Key to Urban Wellness

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 Lifestyle News J E 4

CARPINTERIA, Calif., April 7 The conditions of urban environments have been linked to an escalation of noncommunicable diseases such as Type II diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. These diseases are preventable and manageable through exercise, which is why the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is dedicated to stemming the tide of poor health and physical decline by providing distance fitness education to health and fitness professionals, as well as other interested individuals.

Research has confirmed that engaging in regular physical activity can help prevent or improve heart disease, obesity, and diabetes by helping the heart function more efficiently and by enhancing weight loss, which can increase insulin sensitivity, improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and reduce blood pressure.

It has been found, however, that decreased physical activity and poor diet are increasingly prevalent issues in high-density urban areas. As the World Health Organization explains, "participation in physical activity is made difficult by a variety of urban factors including overcrowding, high-volume traffic, heavy use of motorized transportation, poor air quality and lack of safe public spaces and recreation/sports facilities." Many urban environments have failed to factor in bike paths, neighborhood parks, or even sidewalks--and when present, they are often in disrepair.

"It's no wonder that obesity is an increasing epidemic," says Dr. Sal Arria, CEO/Co-founder of ISSA. "There are so many obstacles in the urban setting that limit physical activity and encourage sedentary behavior, and the fast-paced lifestyle tends to promote unhealthy food consumption as people opt for the convenience of fast food. Also, people are often driven to fall into poor eating habits by a lack of access to fresh and affordable natural foods."

The planning and regulation of "built environments" needs to change in order to improve health in cities. Urban planning can promote healthy behaviors by designing areas to promote physical activity and managing availability of fresh food.

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About ISSA

Founded in 1988, the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is the industry-leading first fitness organization in the U.S. to be accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

SOURCE International Sports Sciences Association


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