What if exercise and physical fitness worked as well as medications for many of our health problems? See new research that says they do.
Anyone who has an older parent or relative knows that they likely have a bunch of prescription meds various doctors gave them for various ailments. Most of us never question this until they are admitted to the hospital for a health problem caused by the medications themselves. This of course is more common than most people realize.
New information reported by the NY Times now shows that many heart, cholesterol as well as other medications can be replaced by fitness and simple exercise. These studies are obviously bad for a drug companies business model, but maybe it is a wakeup call for us as people continue to explore more active lifestyles. Basically, it is less expensive and healthier to stay fit, exercise regularly and avoid pharmaceuticals when possible. According to the latest research, exercise is better than the pill bottle for staying healthy..
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Exercise as Potent MedicineBy GRETCHEN REYNOLDS Exercise can be as effective as many frequently prescribed drugs in treating some of the leading causes of death, according to a new report. The study raises important questions about whether our health care system focuses too much on medications and too little on activity to combat physical ailments.
For the study, which was published in October in BMJ, researchers compared how well various drugs and exercise succeed in reducing deaths among people who have been diagnosed with several common and serious conditions, including heart disease and diabetes.
Comparative effectiveness studies are a staple of science, of course, especially in pharmaceutical research. Scientists often track how well one drug treats a condition compared with the outcome if they use a different drug. But few studies have directly compared drugs with exercise, and even fewer have compared outcomes in terms of mortality or whether the intervention significantly lessens the chance that someone with a disease will die from it, despite treatment.
So Huseyin Naci, a graduate student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Dr. John Ioannidis, the director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine, decided to create a comprehensive comparison of the effectiveness of drugs and exercise in lessening mortality among people who had been diagnosed with one of four diseases: heart disease, chronic heart failure, stroke or diabetes. They chose these particular conditions because those were the only ones for which they could find studies that had examined whether exercise lessened the risk of death among patients with that disease, Mr. Naci said.
He and Dr. Ioannidis then gathered all of the recent randomized controlled trials, as well as previous reviews and meta-analyses of older experiments relating to mortality among patients with those diseases, whether they had been treated with drugs or exercise.