Exercise May Be Just As Effective As Drugs For Curing Certain Diseases. | Gradient

Exercise may be just as effective as drugs for curing certain diseases.


A report in 2015 from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges called exercise the “miracle cure.” And as outlined by Dr. Aaron E. Carroll in The New York Times, study after study, after study seems to only confirm their findings. So much so that, researchers are concluding that exercise are often just as effective as drugs when it comes to curing certain diseases.

2013 meta-analysis of meta-analyses studied a set of controlled people groups on exercise and drugs after suffering from severe heart conditions and strokes. All together they studied 340,000 people in over 305 trials in which they found that exercise was equally as effective as drugs in preventing death from coronary heart disease.  For people who had had a stroke, exercise was even better than drugs in preventing death. And the only drug that proved to be more effective than exercise was diuretic drugs for heart failure. Even still, people who had a heart attack that went through exercise therapy reduced their mortality by 27 percent.

Those are some crazy good results from just walking on a treadmill every day. But they’ve found even more evidence supporting the efficacy of regular exercise.

Another controlled trial showed that exercise improves the lives of people struggling with depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. People who suffer from diabetes who exercise are proven to have lower Hba1c values. Other trials have shown that patients with hypertension who exercise will have lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  Multiple studies have also shown that older patients who exercise are much more likely to have shorter stays in the hospital, they recover quickly and are just happier.

And as Dr. Carroll clarifies in his summary, these results don’t require an intense amount of exercise. In fact, as little as 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workouts a week can achieve these results; that’s less than 22 minutes a day. You don’t have to run marathons, join Cross Fit, or even step foot into a gym. You can go on a 20-minute brisk walk with your dog in the morning. A small sacrifice to pay for such a long list of benefits, even if you haven’t suffered from any major illnesses.

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