The Magic Bullet
More great stuff from the NYT: “You Name It, and Exercise Helps It” by Jane Brody.
“The single thing that comes close to a magic bullet, in terms of its strong and universal benefits, is exercise,” reports Frank Hu, epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health.
I have written often about the protective roles of exercise. It can lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, dementia, osteoporosis, gallstones, diverticulitis, falls, erectile dysfunction, peripheral vascular disease, and 12 kinds of cancer.
But what if you already have one of these conditions? Or an ailment like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, congestive heart failure, or osteoarthritis? How can you exercise if you’re always tired or in pain or have trouble breathing? Can exercise really help?
You bet it can.
“The data show that regular moderate exercise increases your ability to battle the effects of disease,” says Dr. Marilyn Moffat, a professor of physical therapy at New York University. “It has a positive effect on both physical and mental well-being. The goal is to do as much physical activity as your body lets you do, and rest when you need to rest.”
“With regular exercise, the body seeks to continue staying active,” wrote Dr. Tsai, an assistant professor of neurosciences at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.
So get out there, no matter how you feel, and…