Add Some Exercise to the Treatment Plan

A re-examination of past studies relating exercise and four common serious conditions: heart disease; chronic heart failure; stroke, and diabetes, showed that in all but chronic heart disease, exercise can be as effective as drug intervention in lessening mortality from these diseases. In a New York Times article by Gretchen Reynolds, entitled, “Exercise as Potent Medicine,” a meta-analysis of research “consistently showed that drugs and exercise produces almost exactly the same results.” Furthermore, Reynolds states “only in chronic heart failure were drugs noticeably more effective than exercise. Diuretics staved off mortality better than did exercise.”
This can be very good news for those looking for alternatives or complements to their drug therapy. We need to take a long hard look at how exercise can be incorporated into patient care of the elderly who often suffer from these conditions.