Exercise ‘can be as good as pills’

A recent study claims that exercise can be as good a medicine as pills for people with conditions such as heart disease.

The work in the British Medical Journal looked at hundreds of trials involving nearly 340,000 patients to assess the merits of exercise and drugs in preventing death. It showed that physical activity rivalled some heart drugs and outperformed stroke medicine.

Experts, however, stressed that patients should not ditch their drugs for exercise - rather, they should use both in tandem.

Dr Peter Coleman of the Stroke Association said exercise alongside drugs played a vital role that merited more research.

"We would like to see more research into the long-term benefits of exercise for stroke patients. By taking important steps, such as regular exercise, eating a balanced diet and stopping smoking, people can significantly reduce their risk of stroke."

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