"Do you want the closest thing to a wonder drug? Try exercise."
In this excellent article by Aaron Carroll in the New York Times Journal of Medicine, June 21, 2016 one will find a valuable introduction of this topic. Unfortunately, no references are given but they can probably be retrieved at PubMed.
Studies have shown that exercise is as good as drugs for conditions as diverse as:
Back Pain (some kinds)
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Fatigue from cancer therapy.
Heart attack rehabilitation
Strokes (preventing deaths from)
Many people will be surprised lo learn how little exercise they need to do to achieve the results. The recommendations are 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity for adults or about 30 minutes per workday. Walking at 3 to 4 miles per hour qualifies.
This form of therapy has been shown to be effective and it's cheap. Warning: it can be addictive!
Aaron Carroll's essay is a great introduction to this simple therapeutic modality. He draws heavily from a British Medical Journal editorial: “Exercise: not a miracle cure, just good medicine.” BMJ 2015; 350:1416. Download Exercise BMJ editorial
"A study of representative samples of clinical practices in the United States found that the proportion of physicians recommending exercise to all patients fell from 14% in 1995 to 11% and 2007."
Physical activity remains the best buy for public health.
Also see: Academy of Royal Medical Colleges. Exercise – the miracle cure. 2015. Download Mc_report_web final (2)