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A recent article from the Health/Phys Ed Blog, Well, on the New York Times site entitled Exercise as Potent Medicine cites a Stanford University study comparing how well various drugs and exercise succeeded in reducing deaths among people who have been diagnosed with several common and serious conditions, including heart disease and diabetes.

What they’ve found is that:

Exercise can be as effective as many frequently prescribed drugs in treating some of the leading causes of death.

Dr. John Ioannidis, director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Huseyin Naci, a graduate student at the London School of Economics and Political Science, compared the effects of exercise and drugs in reducing mortality among people who had been diagnosed with one of four diseases: heart disease, chronic heart failure, stroke or diabetes.  These are conditions for which exercise has been shown to reduce mortality.  The question in this study is whether exercise is more or less or equally effective in lessening mortality than prescribed medication.

The results consistently showed that drugs and exercise produced almost exactly the same results.

In conclusion, Dr. Ioannidis says: “We are not suggesting that anyone stop taking their medications. But maybe people could think long and hard about their lifestyles and talk to their doctors” about how exercise can be a part of their long term health and wellness plan.

Read the full article here: Exercise as Potent Medicine –

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