Research Alert

Chances are that as we age, we will need to correct our blood pressure, blood sugar or blood fat with the help of medication. Thanks to such medication, an individual’s health span is extended by reducing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases progression.  However, it would be unwise to leave our health only in the hands of pharmacotherapy.  Our bodies progressively desensitize to the chemical actions of medications. Thus, to get diseases at bay, pillboxes start to get crowded. Morales-Palomo et al., monitored the effects of five consecutive years of exercise-training (four months per year) on medicine use in individuals with metabolic syndrome. Interestingly, medicine use was not reduced despite exercise training, but it almost doubled in a matched non-exercising group. Thus, yearly training not only improves fitness, but also prevents ramping up medicine prescription, and possibly polypharmacy adverse outcomes. Most prescriptions do not wrongly interact with exercise training, although muscle pain accompanies statin use sometimes. On the bright side, exercise could even potentiate the actions of some medicines. ACSM fellows are presently conducting studies addressing the best combination of exercise and pharmacological prescription.

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