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New Pill May Let You Skip Exercising But Still Reap the Health Benefits


Exercise doesn’t come in a bottle–or does it?

We’ve all heard–from doctors, from health books, even from your gym-happy Facebook friends–that regular exercise is good for our health. But beyond helping us lose weight and improving cardiovascular health, many of us aren’t sure exactly how working out is helpful to our bodies.

Scientists weren’t sure either, so several set out to answer that question. Their new research, published this week, reveals that short bursts of vigorous exercise cause more than 1,000 molecular changes in the body, influencing everything from energy metabolism to insulin sensitivity. And now that they’ve mapped out those changes, scientists believe they have a “blueprint” for developing a pill that can actually mimic real workouts.

Before you get too excited, researchers involved with the published findings were quick to warn that such a pill wouldn’t exist to give couch potatoes a free pass forever; more likely, it would be most helpful for people who could benefit from physical activity but whose health conditions prevent it. One researcher compared such a pill to vitamins; the real fruits and vegetables are far better for the body, but for certain people, vitamin pills are the only option for getting those vital nutrients. Makes sense to us!

We’ll be keeping an eye on this for sure–but in the meantime, don’t cancel your gym membership or hang up those sneakers just yet.


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