A couple of years ago, Time magazine did a great article on the topic of exercise (Sept. 12, 2016). The article had a lot of the research work of scientists such as Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky (a genetic metabolic neurologist). Basically, the article talked about how even severely sick people can use exercise as medicine. Dr. Tarnopolsky stated:
“if there were a drug that could do for human health everything that exercise can, it would likely be the most valuable pharmaceutical ever developed.”
In the early 1900’s doctors shifted their focus away from keeping people healthy (the PREVENTION of symptoms and disease). Instead, with the rise of modern pharmaceutical companies and surgical procedures, they started to focus on the TREATMENT of symptoms and sickness. This has been the trend ever since. Statistics increase every year with people with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even childhood obesity. In an article published in 1905 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the authors emphasized how people were losing attention on the healthy-benefits of exercise.
All the research is showing that exercise is the best and most effective way to improve our quality and duration of life. An exercise session will improve the health of your heart, skin, eyes, gut, and even your gonads! It will slow the aging process, put you in a better mood, and decreases chronic pain from all sorts of sources. Exercise will also lower your risk for cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and early death from any other cause. When you exercise, it helps you to improve your memory and to learn quicker by way of improving blood flow to the brain. Increased blood to the brain stimulates the growth of new blood vessels and brain cells (while also repairing damaged brain cells and protecting brain cells from degeneration). Physical activity will also decrease all of the following: back pain and arthritis symptoms, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. The list goes on and on. Another researcher, exercise physiologist Marcas Bamman, says:
“exercise is regenerative medicine – restoring and repairing and basically fixing things that are broken.”
Still, an overwhelming percentage of the population does not exercise. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) says that more than 80% of the population does not get the recommended amount of exercise.
The CDC recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (ie: when your breathing speeds up from brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, etc) and twice a week strength training.
Strength training doesn’t mean that you have to join a gym. You can just use your body weight as resistance, such as with yoga, tai chi, pilates, or calisthenics.
Rats and mice are used in medical testing because their genetic, biological and behavioral characteristics closely resemble those of humans. Also, many human conditions can be replicated in mice and rats. Dr. Tarnopolsky says, “you open up sedentary mice and there’s fat all over the place. About half of those mice have tumors.” When comparing that to mice who run on an exercise wheel every day, he says, “We haven’t found a single tumor.” He thinks that if people could see this, they’d be pretty motivated to exercise.