Researchers are developing an exercise pill to help those with chronic pain, disability, or other obligations live healthier lives.
Exercise is one of the healthiest habits you can adopt; the benefits of moving your body daily include: establishing a healthier weight, preventing heart disease, certain types of cancer, and stroke, and boosting energy while improving mood.
Unfortunately, due to chronic pain, disability, or other obligations, many people are unable to include basic exercises into their regime, such as walking, squatting, or push-ups, which could benefit their health.
For this reason – and likely because an exercise pill would be an incredibly profitable product – scientists are working on an “exercise pill” to help those who can’t help themselves.
Two studies, published in the journals Cell Metabolism and Trends in Pharmaceutical Sciences, have been conducted to examine the physical changes that the body undergoes after exercising, such as building muscle, creating new cells, and developing blood vessels, in an attempt to duplicate them with chemical compounds.
Of course, no pharmaceutical drug will ever match the benefits experienced from getting outdoors and moving one’s body. Nonetheless, scientists at the University of Sydney, Australia, are reportedly close to developing such a ‘wonder pill’.
In one of the studies, the researchers looked at two ways to chemically replicate the benefits of exercise for people who can’t work out because of injury or illness.
When they biopsied healthy athletes’ muscles before and after strenuous workouts, they found 1,004 molecular changes that took place during the workout. The findings suggest they might be able to isolate chemical compounds that could one day duplicate those changes.
Said co-author of the study, Dr. Nolan Hoffman:
“While scientists have long suspected that exercise causes a complicated series of changes to human muscle, this is the first time we have been able to map exactly what happens. This is a major breakthrough, as it allows scientists to use this information to design a drug that mimics (some of) the true beneficial changes caused by exercise.”
A second study conducted at the University of British Columbia in Canada aimed to discover whether exercise pills might be able to help people build muscle faster and reach their exercise goals sooner.
The research suggests that any benefits from an exercise pill will be located in the muscles.
“It’s not going to make a couch potato into Arnold Schwarzenegger.” Ismail Laher, the study’s co-author, said. “It’s a very small slice of the pie.”
But, as Science Alert reports, such a pill might allow you to have that piece of cake without needing to spend so much time in the gym burning it off.
As should be assumed, no single pill can provide the hundreds of positive results real exercise produces; but based on their findings, these researchers believe a number of people could one day benefit from such an invention.
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