GRAND Magazine - September/October 2018 - 5

health

The wonder drug that's free!
BY ROBIN SEATON JEFFERSON

M

edicine is expensive. From family physician visits to consultations with specialists to prescription drugs, long
life is a major investment. But what if there was a free
wonder drug that warded off everything from dementia and high
blood pressure to diabetes and osteoporosis? Well, doctors and
scientists say there is. It's exercise. And they're finding new prescriptions for it every day.
"No pill protects us against ill health like exercise does," writes
Andy Coghlan for New Scientist. "A plethora of recent studies
shows that exercise protects us from heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, obesity, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and depression. It
even boosts memory. And it has the potential to prevent more

"

premature deaths than any other single treatment, with none of
the side effects of actual medication."
Coghlan goes on to quote Erik Richter, a diabetes researcher
at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, who calls exercise a
wonder drug. "There's probably not a single organ in the body
that's unaffected by it," Richter said.
Deakin University, a public university in Victoria, Australia,
reported that a new study published in Osteoporosis International
has found that 'explosive power' such as is used in jumping might
actually help post-menopausal women with osteoporosis to keep
their balance and help to prevent falls.
In the study, researchers tested 63 women aged 57 to 74

"

"...post-menopausal women often
struggle with their balance due to low
bone mass, or osteoporosis."

years-who had low bone mass in their hips and spines-on their
ability to jump and to stand on one leg as well as their leg-press
strength, calf-muscle size and fat content.
They found that the womens' "neuromuscular power"-or
the measure of how quick, fast, hard and intensely a person can
move-was more important than muscle strength or size in terms
of balance.
Associate Professor, Daniel Belavy from the Institute for
Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University, said until
now there has been limited research in the area of explosive
movement. It's important, Deakin reported, as post-menopausal
women often struggle with their balance due to low bone mass,
or osteoporosis, which also makes them at a higher risk of bone
fractures after a fall. He recommended that post-menopausal
women add some form of rapid, explosive muscular or movement training into their fitness, falls prevention and balance
training programs.

Click here to continue reading

Robin Seaton Jefferson lives just outside
of St. Louis with her husband of 24 years
and two daughters. Find her on Twitter
and Facebook @SeatonJefferson or
contact her at rsjreporter@charter.net.
5 GRAND

SEPTEMBER OCTOBER 2018


https://www.facebook.com/GRANDmagazine/ https://www.twitter.com/grandMmagazine http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/media-releases/articles/post-menopausal-women-should-jump-to-help-prevent-falls-deakin-study https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21528792-300-the-workout-pill-why-exercise-is-the-best-medicine/ http://www.grandmagazine.com/2018/08/the-new-wonder-drug-thats-free/

GRAND Magazine - September/October 2018

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