Exercise in a Pill?

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by Tracey Lloyd

For physical fitness results, take one capsule with food. Is this the future of exercise? No longer sweating it out at the gym but simply popping a pill?

Researchers at Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found that they give mice a pill which stimulates their body so that they can run around a little mouse treadmill for long periods of time without prior training. Will this translate to positive effects for humans?

Maybe, but it's too early to tell at this stage. While the results have found that in mice, endurance is improved, there has not yet been detail released on whether the drug will have a positive effect on cardiovascular fitness or strength.

The "exercise pill" may have a beneficial impact on people who are unable to be physically active due to disease or disability. For example, it may be able to be used to ensure that muscle wastage does not occur when a person breaks a bone.

A major benefit, if the clinical trials in mice transfer favorably to humans would be that if increased stamina, makes it easier for people to find the energy to fit 30 minutes of physical activity into their day. At least 30 minutes moderate-intensity physical activity daily is the minimum required to maintain a person's health and currently less than 50% of people achieve this objective.