Movement versus meds

Study suggests exercise is equal to medication as a treatment option

Physical activity may be just as effective as medication when it comes to treating serious illnesses, a study finds.

Researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science and Stanford University School of Medicine compiled data from 305 experiments relating to mortality among patients with one of four conditions: diabetes, heart disease, chronic heart failure or stroke, according to The New York Times.

The results consistently indicated that drugs and exercise produced nearly identical results; for instance, heart-disease patients who exercised but did not use commonly prescribed medications such as statins and antiplatelet drugs had the same mortality rate as heart-disease patients who took medication. The exception was chronic heart failure, for which diuretic drugs were a more effective treatment than exercise.

“We’re not suggesting that anyone stop taking their medications,” said Huseyin Naci, one of the study’s authors. “But maybe people could think long and hard about their lifestyles.”