Exercise Is Medicine

Medication – a drug or other form of medicine used to treat injury or disease. By nature, we naturally associate medicine with a pill, ointment or solution, which we take at prescribed dosages and prescribed intervals.  But medicine by definition can come in many more forms. Exercise too is prescribed to treat and manage diseases, at particular dosages and durations. So shouldn’t we consider it too to be a Medication? In a world where we are ever chasing the ways to better our health, exercise deserves more credit. In fact, I would even go as far as saying it’s the wonder drug of life!

Exercise is medicine

Exercise too has its side effects… these include; improved mood, memory, energy and endorphin release just to name a few. Yes, I will admit, initially you will experience muscle soreness and the dosage can take time to get right, but I would take this over gastrointestinal upset, dizziness, blurred vision, skin rashes (and I just took those directly from a Panadol packet).

Thankfully, understanding and exposure of exercise as a medicine is growing. You may have seen lately that Insight on SBS has begun investigating this exact topic, and it is being promoted more through the media.  To further prove that exercise is medicine, see below for a non extensive list of conditions that exercise has great evidence in treating, managing and preventing.

Heart Disease Chronic pain High Cholesterol
Diabetes Parkinson’s/Alzheimer’s Anxiety
Arthritis Cancer Cold and Flu prevention
COPD Low back pain Sciatica
Depression Knee pain Postural pain
Falls Headaches Stroke
Multiple Sclerosis Metabolic Syndrome High blood pressure
Osteoporosis Fibromyalgia Kidney Disease

You don’t need to convert to a full time yogi or gym junkie, but simple, more active changes can help you manage your health holistically. Physiotherapists are one profession who are at the forefront of promoting exercise for wellbeing.  We can work closely with your GP to tailor a specific program to target your health goals. A multidisciplinary, holistic approach to your health could be the best step you take in optimising your wellbeing.

If you would like to investigate exercise as a medicine to assist with your health, chat to your health care professional or contact Ellenbrook Physiotherapy.


Tahnee Goodman



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