Hate Exercise? A New Pill Can Apparently Provide The Same Health Benefits

If you hate exercising, you’re not alone. For all the gym bunnies out there, there are just as many people who literally hate physical activity and do as little of it as possible even though they know they should get fit. However, we all know how beneficial it is for our health, so a lot of us still force ourselves to get off the couch and into the gym. As it turns out, researchers have discovered that there may be a way to get the same health benefits provided by physical exercise but in pill form, and it’s a prospect that’s making a lot of people very excited.

Scientists at The Australian National University have discovered that there are certain molecular messages that get sent to our eyes and brains after we exercise. Those messages have a positive impact on our central nervous system and eye health, and can even prevent age-related illnesses like macular degeneration. They believe that if they can find a way to reformulate these molecules and put them into a pill for people to take, they could provide people with the same benefits.

‘Exercise in a pill’ could help with neurological disorders too

“The beneficial messages being sent to the central nervous system during exercise are packaged up in what are known as lipid particles. We are essentially prescribing the molecular message of exercise to those who physically aren’t able to,” explained Associate Professor Riccardo Natoli, Head of Clear Vision Research at ANU.

His colleague, Dr. Joshua Chu-Tan, added that while the research is still very preliminary, it is a promising prospect that could change people’s lives for the better. So far, the team has had “promising results” when it comes to exercise’s effects on eye health. However, there’s still so much more to discover and understand.

While the benefits of exercise go far beyond the brain and eyes – it helps reduce stress, boost mood, and increase cardiovascular health, among other things – ANU researchers are most interested in how much the brain and eyes are impacted. In fact, they even suspect further study into this area could eventually help develop a treatment for illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

“It’s been suggested that prescribing exercise to patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can help improve and slow down the disease progression. We want to understand the molecular messages that underpin the benefits of exercise,” Dr. Chu-Tan added.

Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.
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