Exercise ‘Can Be As Good As Pills’


Exercise can be as good a medicine as pills for people with conditions such as heart disease, a study has found.  The work in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) looked at hundreds of trials involving nearly 340,000 patients to assess the merits of exercise and drugs in preventing death.

Physical activity rivaled some heart drugs and outperformed others in stroke medicine.  The findings suggest exercise should, and could be replaced by prescriptions, say the representatives from Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Eli Lily.  “People don’t want to and have not exercised in years, and this study confirms that unless you want to get off the couch, you better get on medication.”

Researchers, rather pharmaceutical representatives interpreting the research, tell us that this data can be extrapolated further.  “Typically if you smoke your heart and stroke risk increase.  You have three choices: quit smoking, exercise, or take medication.  Nobody is going to do the first two, and that is where we come in.”

They referred to this new study saying that exercise and medication were “equal.”

The BMJ authors told reporters they were not quite sure what the results would be when they started their academic adventure.  “We needed a large amount of people, 340,000 to be exact, to really see if exercise was good for you.”  The researchers received millions of dollars to study the effects of exercise on the human body.  “The team came up with a final decision: exercise is good, and could have the same amount of benefit as medication.”  But, they continued, “it may not be superior.”

The researchers went on to caution that this new thing called “exercise” should be started with caution.  “We recommend speaking with your doctor and discussing a plan.”

Local resident Thomas Klutch is very intrigued: “Breaking Bad just ended, and I’m not too excited about this year’s fall line-up, so I made an appointment with my physician to discuss this ‘exercise.’  Perhaps I’ll give it a try.”

The BMJ did say they only found that exercise could be equal to medication and would require more research grants to see if exercise would be superior to what most people are used to, prescription medication.