Heart Disease: Why Exercise Is the Ultimate Prescription
Some people call exercise the universal therapy. They're right -- exercise is good for just about everything.
I recall, for example, when esteemed cardiologist Paul Dudly White encouraged President Dwight Eisenhower to get out on the golf course after his heart attack. Back in the 1950s, this advice constituted heresy. At the time, the standard medical treatment after a heart attack was 10 to 14 days in bed and another two weeks in the hospital. Terrible! Now, the American Heart Association even labels lack of exercise as one of the major causes of heart trouble. Exercise is a mandated part of the post-attack treatment phase. Exercise promotes healing and enables arteries to become bigger and better, helping to prevent another attack.
The exercise prescription holds true not only for heart disease, but many other medical conditions. In fact, listing conditions in which you shouldn't exercise is much more difficult than nominating illnesses for which exercise is a healer.
Exercise is good for what ails you -- including some cancers. Harvard alumni who exercised 2,000 calories per week (approximately 3 1/2 hours of jogging or 7 hours of moderate-paced walking) had a 40 percent lower chance of developing prostate cancer. Since I found this out, my thrice-weekly jogs have a livelier bounce -- now I know they're providing prostate health, too.