The results of clinical trials of drugs for coronary heart disease and other illnesses found that exercise might work just as well or better than prescribed medications.
The Harvard Medical School study reported that carefully monitored physical exercise was just as effective as drugs for treating people with or recovering from coronary heart disease or preventing diabetes. For stroke, exercise was more effective. For heart failure, drugs tended to work better.
The scientists emphasized that their results do not mean people should stop taking their medications, especially without consulting their doctors, but they do suggest that exercise might play a more significant role in preventing, treating and recovering from many diseases.
Unfortunately people do not get enough exercise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated almost 80 percent of adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity each week – 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and 15 minutes of really working up a good, heart-pounding sweat.
Considering the high cost of many prescription drugs and the potentially serious health risks, exercise is a superior choice. It has been shown to reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer, depression, the risk of bone fractures, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for death and causes approximately 3.2 million deaths worldwide every year.