Make Time to Exercise Today!
Millions of people take drugs to treat life-threatening diseases like stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and diabetes. You might have thought that cancer is the biggest threat to life in America. But it’s not. It’s a distant second to coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure. Doctors prescribe a slew of expensive drugs to slow the progression of these and other common diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
But there’s a better way.
That’s the conclusion of a massive study conducted by British and American scientists, who reported in the British Medical Journal recently that good old exercise could be just as effective as all those expensive drugs, in most cases. That’s right. Exercise. No drugs required.
In fact, researchers analyzed more than 300 studies, comprising more than 300,000 individuals, and concluded that exercise was just as effective as drug therapy for the secondary prevention of heart disease and diabetes. Just. As. Effective. Secondary prevention refers to the situation where a disease has been identified, but it has not progressed to the point that it causes significant illness.
For stroke patients, exercise was MORE effective than drug therapy for the prevention of a subsequent stroke.
Isn’t that remarkable? I’ve been telling people for years that regular exercise is critical. The list of its benefits is as long a well-toned arm. In a press release, a spokesman for the study said exercise “should be considered as a viable alternative to, or alongside, drug therapy.”
So science is finally catching up with age-old wisdom: exercise is a lifelong prescription for good health!
Naci H, Ioannidis JPA. Comparative effectiveness of exercise and drug interventions on mortality outcomes: metaepidemiological study. BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5577(Published 1 October 2013)