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The New York Times Discovers Exercise
May 28, 2008
The April 29 issue of The New York Times science section had a good article by Jane Brody on the benefits of exercise in chronic illness, "You Name It, Exercise Will Make It Better." It could have been stronger, but it does make the true point that physical activity is the single best health practice, no matter what your condition.
The good thing about writing for The Times is that you can call an expert anywhere in the world, and they’ll answer you. In Brody’s article, a Harvard epidemiologist named Frank Hu says that exercise “comes close to a magic bullet, in terms of its strong and universal benefits.”
Marilyn Moffatt, a physical therapy professor at New York University, says “regular moderate exercise increases your ability to fight the effects of disease.”
I won’t quote any more for fear of copyright problems. But Dr. Moffatt reports that exercise helps people with heart failure, lowers high blood pressure, and improves peripheral circulation. It prevents strokes in people who have had “ministrokes” or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), as they’re called. It reduces pain and increases mobility in people with arthritis, Parkinson disease, and multiple sclerosis. It increases energy for everyone, even those with heart and lung disease.
We all know about the benefits for people with diabetes, especially Type 2. Exercise lowers insulin resistance more than any drug or combination of drugs.
Exercise and the Brain
Why Isn’t This Wonder Drug Prescribed?
We know that lack of exercise is a major contributor to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and most other chronic illness. We also know that physically active children learn better, behave better, and have better health. Why isn’t exercise being vigorously promoted and enabled? Why is it being de-emphasized, and many cases prevented, in a society that spends $1.5 trillion per year treating chronic illness?
Our society denies people activities that would make them healthier and more confident. Why? I write a lot about these problems and what we can do about it in my book Diabetes: Sugar-coated Crisis. But what do you think about it?
Link for Good Science Writing
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