About this Research Topic
It is commonly accepted that physical activity delays all-cause mortality in the general population and reduces the risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and, in some cases, even cancer. Moreover, in recent years there has been a growing interest in investigating the determinants of health-related quality of life. Consistently, longitudinal studies have shown improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, body composition, depression symptoms, and quality of life after physical activity and exercise interventions.
In this regard, exercise prescription is the systematic and planned execution of tailored physical activity exercises through which people can improve their cardiorespiratory and muscle fitness, preventing the development of non-communicable diseases (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancers etc.), and finally optimize their overall health, fitness or feeling of well-being. Both the World Health Organization and the American College of Sport Medicine recommend in general 150 min of moderate-intensity activity or 75 min of vigorous-intensity activity per week, or a combination of both. Indeed, the undertaking of physical activity remains challenging with the optimal exercise parameters (e.g., mode, intensity, duration, etc.) for the different populations is yet to be confirmed.
Nevertheless, long-term adherence to physical activity and exercise programs, which is key to such earned health and psychological benefits, is still low. In fact, it has been observed that individualized tailored behavioral exercise programs can enhance the adoption and short-term adherence to exercise. Exercise programs conducted in diverse populations in a variety of settings have been effective in promoting short-term increases in physical activity when they are i) based on health behavioral theoretical constructs; ii) are individually tailored; iii) use behavioral strategies such as goal setting, social support, reinforcement, and relapse prevention. Individually tailored interventions delivered using various modalities including print, telephone, internet/computer/smartphone applications, and group counseling can be effective in enhancing exercise adoption but are at best marginally effective for increasing long-term exercise maintenance. Despite the well-documented issues with long-term exercise adherence and exercise dropouts, few data exist regarding the factors associated with maintaining exercise behavior. Therefore, further research on exercise maintenance and the development of behavioral theory is needed to understand not only how to assist individuals in initiating exercise and reducing sedentary behavior, but also how people can maintain that activity over their lifetime. Indeed, several guidelines have been developed to assist with exercise management for health and disease, but more investigations are needed to support patients, practitioners, and researchers.
The present Research Topic focuses on providing evidence of the impact of physical exercise in improving physical fitness and managing chronic diseases/conditions while ensuring mental health. Therefore, we invite researchers to investigate the role of physical activity as a central variable in achieving a health condition from a physiological and psychological point of view, through experimental studies oriented toward the underlying mechanisms of long-term exercise adherence, in order to deepen our understanding of:
• The effects of exercise prescription as a central variable in achieving a healthier population from a multiple or bio-psychosocial point of view;
• The beneficial effect of exercise prescription in emotional status;
• The impact of exercise prescription for chronic disease prevention and rehabilitation;
• Factors improving adherence to therapeutic exercise programs;
• The settings for physical exercise prescription and its integration within a comprehensive health care infrastructure.
We welcome the following article types: Original Research, Systematic Review, Methods, Review, Mini Review, Hypothesis and Theory, Perspective, Conceptual Analysis, Clinical Trial, Case Report, Data Report, Brief Research Report, General Commentary, Opinion, Book Review.
Keywords: health care, aging, exercise psychology, exercise prescription, sarcopenia, metabolism, inflammation
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.