Could regular Exercise fight off common diseases like drugs can?

Is exercise as effective as using drugs to alleviate issues like heart disease or diabetes?  Now the idea that exercise is maintaining one’s health is not earth shattering news.  With that said, researchers now believe that exercise may indeed be as helpful as taking pills for those issues.

With all the evidence in support of exercise only 1/3 of the U.S., population chooses to maintain the suggested levels of exercise.  According to the survey of countries worldwide the U.S. spends $1,000 per person on prescription drugs.  The 2nd highest country is Canada and they spend about 40% less than we do.

The study looked at how effective exercise was versus drugs on diseases like heart disease, rehabilitating from a stroke and diabetes.  For stroke victims, exercise was more beneficial than drugs and for heart patients drugs were more effective than exercise.

More studies are needed, but researchers seemed to believe that future studies may continue to show that exercise may be just as effective as the drugs being prescribed.

My belief is that as a physician is that the patient must have a proactive mindset when it comes to their health.  If things like diabetes or heart disease are starting to effect the individual’s life then that person must take steps to overcome those issues.  A health professional cannot be sitting at the patient’s dinner table making sure they eat this and not that.  It is also true when it comes to having an exercise regimen.  What is going to motivate someone to get off their behind and exercise for their own well-being?

Dr. Shah, MD

Sources:

Comparative effectiveness of exercise and drug interventions .., http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5577_br (accessed December 4, 2014).

Why do Americans spend so much on pharmaceuticals? | RxRights, http://www.rxrights.org/americans-spend-much-pharmaceuticals/_br (accessed December 4, 2014).