34 diseases- 1 Cure

There are about 34 Chronic diseases that have become the major killers of industrial societies.

Physical inactivity is a primary cause of most of these diseases due to the detrimental effects that is has on the health and functional capacity of the systems and organs in our bodies.

Physical activity (exercise) has  been shown to be the primary prevention and in some cases optimum treatment, for these conditions/diseases.

What are these diseases/Conditions?

  1. Accelerated biological aging/premature death
  2. Low cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max)
  3. Sarcopenia
  4. Metabolic syndrome
  5. Obesity
  6. Insulin resistance
  7. Prediabetes
  8. Type 2 diabetes
  9. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  10. Coronary heart disease
  11. Peripheral artery disease
  12. Hypertension
  13. Stroke
  14. Congestive heart failure
  15. Endothelial dysfunction
  16. Arterial dyslipidemia, hemostasis
  17. Deep vein thrombosis
  18. Cognitive dysfunction
  19. Depression and anxiety
  20. Osteoporosis
  21. Osteoarthritis
  22. Balance
  23. Bone fracture/falls
  24. Rheumatoid arthritis
  25. Colon cancer
  26. Breast cancer
  27. Endometrial cancer
  28. Gestational diabetes
  29. Preeclampsia
  30. Polycystic ovary syndrome
  31. Erectile dysfunction
  32. Pain, diverticulitis
  33. Constipation
  34. Gallbladder diseases


By using exercise  as your medicine, you can prevent or delay these chronic diseases.

There are  9 key components of Physical Fitness that are important in mitigating the 34 diseases/conditions:

  1. Cardiorespiratory endurance (aerobic power)
  2. Skeletal muscle endurance
  3. Skeletal muscle strength
  4. Skeletal muscle power
  5. Flexibility
  6. Balance
  7. Speed of movement
  8. Reaction time
  9. Body composition


The National Academy Of Sports Medicine (NASM) has developed the Optimum Performance Training (OPT) model which incorporates these 9 components in an integrated fashion safely and progressively based on an assessment of one’s abilities as needs.

This  model was created out of the need to address our society’s escalating rate of structural imbalances, susceptibility to injuries and chronic diseases.

The OPT process of programming can systematically progress any person towards any goal, be it general conditioning, weight loss, strength and muscles gain, performance or prevention of disease.

The OPT model is built on a foundation of principles that progressively and systematically leads to optimum levels of physiologic (cardiorespiratory, endocrine, metabolic, tissue strength and bone density), physical  (decreased body fat and increased lean body mass) and performance (strength, power, endurance, flexibility, speed, agility and balance) adaptations.

The OPT model stresses functional exercise:

  • Multiplanar (Different directions of movement)
  • Acceleration, deceleration and stabilization
  • Multiple speeds
  • Varying body positions
  • Optimum alignment
  • Periodization (planned changes)
  • Recovery and regeneration
  • Nutrition and supplementation

The OPT model is divided into 3 building Blocks and 5 Phases

3 Building Blocks

  1. Stabilization
  2. Strength
  3. Power

5 Phases

  1. Stabilization Endurance
  2. Strength Endurance
  3. Hypertrophy
  4. Maximum Strength
  5. Power

The evidence based jury is out. You can either be sedentary or OPT to get the most out of your exercise for the prevention and/or treatment of the 34 diseases.

If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate the OPT model into your exercise program,  send me an e-mail or contact our clinic.




Booth, F. W., Roberts, C. K., & Laye, M. J. (2012). Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases. Comprehensive Physiology, 2(2), 1143–1211.

Clark, M. A., Lucett, S., & Corn, R. J. (2008). NASM essentials of personal fitness training. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.



About the Author

Dr. Geoff LecovinNaturopathic Physician/Chiropractor/Acupuncturist/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Corrective Exercise Specialist/Performance Enhancement Specialist/Certified Sports Nutritionist/View all posts by Dr. Geoff Lecovin