EXERCISE IS MEDICINE
A few years ago, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) started a movement called “Exerciseis Medicine” to which great sports and health professionals are attached and certified throughout the planet. This initiative is based on the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence that supports physical exercise as a treatment and prevention of different diseases.
In this regard, various reviews have been published on the ability of exercise to be a “drug” for health and life. In this article we are going to summarize what was exposed in one of the most impressive reviews of recent years, whose authors are national researchers (Fiuza-Luces, Garatachea, Berger and Lucía, 2013). The title is already striking, marketinian, but the truth is: “Exercise is really a polypill.”
The magnificent introduction to this article defines us for what we are: energy savers. This has its explanation, because some 350 generations ago our ancestors had to save energy in the absence of food, one day hunting could be fruitful, and the next it could not. That way of using energy is written in our genes, so if we don’t move enough … we accumulate calories for a “just in case” that never comes.
Physical exercise clearly reduces mortality , and reduces risk factors for diseases that can increase our comorbidity. But not only is it good without more, but in the case of cardiovascular diseases and other related causes of mortality it is very good compared to nutritional interventions or the famous omega-3 supplementation. Exercise improves and restores endothelial function, thereby enhancing the vasodilator response to acetylcholine.
Drugs for diabetes have been shown to reduce the risks of the disease and prevent complications associated with its evolution, but physical exercise has been found to be much more effective. The reduction in glycated hemoglobin caused by exercise appears to be much greater compared to the more commonly used oral antidiabetic drugs.
When you go to the doctor and he gives you the results of blood cholesterol tests there are several important facts: total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and triglycerides. Well, statins reduce, especially LDL, while exercise does it on triglycerides.
Blood pressure medicine
Physical exercise has shown great effects on blood pressure, in fact the decrease in systolic pressure is more marked than that of diastolic. It is not known whether exercise intervention would be more effective than drug administration, because combined action has been studied in all investigations (for ethical precautions). It is possible that without the action of beta-blockers, exercise could be much more effective …
Medicine for eternal youth
Over the years the sympathetic nervous system increases its activity. If our sympathetic system is too active even when we are at rest, an issue that can be evaluated through the variability of heart rate, there will be a higher cardiac output, and that means that the deterioration of the cardiovascular system will be earlier. This decreased sympathetic tone can contribute to the risk of sudden death from ventricular fibrillation, among other things. Exercise can play an important role in baroreflex function and restore balance, that is, it regulates the function of the autonomic nervous system and thus prevents early deterioration of the cardiovascular system.
Muscle as medicine
Muscle is a secretory organ, and as such has consequences on itself and the rest of the body. Physical exercise lowers myostatin , a protein secreted in muscle. This is good, since its increase contributes to insulin resistance, obesity, loss of muscle mass, sarcopenia, etc. Also, the higher the intensity of exercise, the more release of interleukin 6, which releases AMPK, then increases the absorption of glucose and the oxidation of lipids. But these two examples are only a small part of everything that the muscle and its contraction can generate.
How about some of the amazing benefits of exercise? If you had to get with drugs everything that physical exercise achieves from one, imagine the amount of drugs you would ingest throughout the day. “Compared to drugs, exercise is available inexpensively and relatively free of adverse effects.” But keep in mind that, as a medicine, exercise must also be prescribed with a specific dose by qualified professionals.
Now it only remains for you to spread this message, that it reaches many people and they can know some of the benefits that they can obtain by practicing physical exercise on a regular basis.