Exercise Is As Effective As Medication For Treating Heart Disease And Diabetes

Over and over again the benefits of regular exercise are being touted, and yet so many fail to take action for one reason or another. We know that just a brisk walk a day (moderate intensity for 2.5 hours a week) can help lower the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

How about exercising so as to avoid taking medication, specifically in regards to heart disease and diabetes?

Researchers from the London School of Economics, Harvard Medical School and Stanford University School of Medicine wanted to find out if exercise was as effective as medication in preventing and treating chronic illnesses. They compared the effect of exercise to that of drug therapy on four different health outcomes: heart disease, recovery from stroke, heart failure treatment and the prevention of diabetes. They found that diabetes was prevented equally between groups that were taking medication and those who exercised. And heart patients did not experience any additional events when taking medications as compared to exercise alone. As for patients who had experienced a stroke, physical activity was a more powerful healer than medication. In fact, the only group that didn’t benefit from exercise as compared to medication involved those with heart failure, due to the fact that physical activity is often limited as it can be too strenuous.

Time Article