Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

From a couch potato to a fit potato part 3

In my 2nd blog post I talked about benefits of exercise for weight loss. This blog post will be on how exercise helps health conditions and diseases.

Benefits on health conditions and diseases through exercise

Photo credit: (Association, 2012)

 Cardiovascular diseases:

Physical activity can increase your lifespan. Physical activity at any age has proven to reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses including cardiovascular diseases. Population based studies have shown that increased levels of regular physical activity are inversely proportional to cardiovascular mortality; in simple words it means that with increasing levels of physical activity the cardiovascular mortality rate decreases. In one study there was a 24% decrease in cardiovascular mortality rate when the subjects’ energy expenditure was greater than 2000kcal/week.

As shown by the graph, the risk of heart disease is lower in subjects who are fit.
(, 2016)

Exercise directly affects the functional activity of the vascular endothelium. It increases the sheer forces on the endothelial which increases blood flow and enhance vasodilatory capacity of arteries. The endothelium plays an important role in antiatherosclerotic functions such as preventing platelets and inflammatory cells adhering to the vascular surface. Exercise therefore reduces the risk of artherosclerosis.

Regular exercise reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases HDL cholesterol. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels lowers the risk of cardiovascular related diseases.

Exercise and control of diabetes

Physical activity can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs due to a combination of the inability of muscle cells to respond to insulin and inadequate insulin secretion. Contracting muscles increase the uptake of blood glucose. Transportof glucose into muscles is via GLUT proteins(mainly GLUT 4). Insulin activates GLUT4 translocation v a complex pathway. Muscle contractions however use a different pathway to translocate GLUT 4. GLUT4 translocation by insulin is impaired in type 2 diabetes. Both aerobic

and resistance exercises increase GLUT4 abundance and blood glucose uptake even in type 2 diabetes patients.

Photo credits:  (Krishna, 2015)


The graph illustrates that the incidence of diabetes in high risk subjects significantly reduced when engaged on more weekly physical activity.





Image credit: (, 2016)

I hope by now that these posts inspired some of you to get up and get moving!



Dimmeler, S. (2003). Exercise and Cardiovascular Health: Get Active to “AKTivate” Your Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase. Circulation, [online] 107(25), pp.3118-3120. Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2016].

Shephard, R. and Balady, G. (1999). Exercise as Cardiovascular Therapy. Circulation, [online] 99(7), pp.963-972. Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2016]. (2016). Cardiovascular disease risk factors – Physical inactivity | World Heart Federation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2016].

Jill Edwards, C., Jill Edwards, C., Anne Ledbetter, E., T. Colin Campbell, P. and Alan Goldhamer, D. (2014). Exercise and Cardiovascular Health – Nutrition Studies. [online] Center for Nutrition Studies. Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2016].

Colberg, S., Sigal, R., Fernhall, B., Regensteiner, J., Blissmer, B., Rubin, R., Chasan-Taber, L., Albright, A. and Braun, B. (2010). Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes: The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: joint position statement. Diabetes Care, [online] 33(12), pp.e147-e167. Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2016]. (2016). Diabetes & Exercise. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2016]. (2016). The Health Benefits of Regular Exercise | Wentworthville Physiotherapy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2016].

Association, A. (2012). Exercise to Prevent Heart Disease – Go Red For Women. [online] Go Red For Women®. Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2016].

Krishna, H. (2015). 5 Best Exercises for Type 2 Diabetes Patients. [online] Diabeticpick. Available at: [Accessed 3 May 2016].


2 comments on “From a couch potato to a fit potato part 3

  1. rebeccagreenm
    May 8, 2016

    Hi, reading your blog post, the topic drew me in as this is such a well known issue in the media where a lot of it is based around body image and health. I liked the amount of facts and data you provided to support your research and I’m convinced that you have researched a lot to create this blog post.

    It was well written and very interesting, grabbing the attention of your audience with a somewhat humorous title.

    well done



  2. sandaliii
    May 9, 2016

    Hey, I fount your blog really interesting and catchy and you have linked the three blogs to each other very methodically.
    This is a topic that I always want to know more about. I liked the section where u explained how exercise prevents type 2 diabetes in a detailed but simple way.
    I thought this video ( on how Dr Pam explains the effects of exercise e on gene modification that leads to prevention of diseases like diabetes is closely related to this discussion.


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This entry was posted on May 8, 2016 by in Burwood - Friday 10am, Uncategorized.

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