Exercise, is it the ultimate wonder drug?

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Exercise, is it the ultimate wonder drug?Aerobic in pool Those of us who live in the USA take more drugs than any other country in the world, yet, our health is often worse than those in other countries. In many countries, people walk a lot more to get from place to place, and may even live on hilly terrain that requires them to constantly exercise to get back and forth from the store to their homes.  I saw this first hand in the Amalfi Coast, where homes in Positano are on hills, and those who live there would constantly climb those hills to arrive home. Most of us in the USA often get in the car to go the store, although more of us are moving to the cities, where walking from place to place is easier and more common. A recent NY Times article suggests that physical exercise may be the cure for what ails us with many diseases that include musculoskeletal pain, heart problems and even lung problems.  That is just a sample of what this author uses to make his case for exercise.  The good news is that you do not need any extreme sports to get the benefit. Check out the NY Times article here Closest Thing to a Wonder Drug? Try Exercise Aaron E. Carroll After I wrote last year that diet, not exercise, was the key to weight loss, I was troubled by how some readers took this to mean that exercise therefore had no value. Nothing could be further from the truth. Of all the things we as physicians can recommend for health, few provide as much benefit as physical activity. In 2015, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges put out a report calling exercise a "œmiracle cure." This isn"™t a conclusion based simply on some cohort or case-control studies. There are many, many randomized controlled trials. A huge meta-analysis examined the effect of exercise therapy on outcomes in people with chronic diseases. Let"™s start with musculoskeletal diseases. Researchers found 32 trials looking specifically at the effect of exercise on pain and function of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee alone. That"™s incredibly specific, and it"™s impressive that so much research has focused on one topic. Exercise improved those outcomes. Ten more studies showed, over all, that exercise therapy increases aerobic capacity and muscle strength in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Other studies proved its benefits in other musculoskeletal conditions, like ankylosing spondylitis, and even some types of back pain. Read more