A regular habit of vigorous physical activity can be as effective as drugs in preventing, treating, or managing many health conditions – especially “diseases of civilization,” also called “lifestyle diseases,” like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and many more.
“… The review, which analyzed more than 305 trials with 339,274 participants, compared drug and exercise interventions and found that exercise proved similar to medications for heart disease prevention, heart failure treatment, and diabetes prevention. For those who had suffered a stroke, exercise was more effective than drug treatment. In addition, physical activity often provided patients with fewer side effects and injuries. …”Exercise as Effective as Drugs in Disease Treatment
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Health and Nutrition News, Oct. 3, 2013
Membership in your local Aikido dojo is less expensive than many prescription medications, and training in Aikido offers more benefits than taking a pill—increased endurance and mobility, a supportive community, and feelings of confidence, accomplishment, and even joy. It’s a lot more fun to train with your friends than to schlep to the pharmacy for expensive refills.
We might dismiss play and fun as frivolous, but for most people the only way they are going to participate in a physically challenging activity is if they really enjoy it. People often find Aikido pulls them in—they are excited about going to the next class, and eager to keep training. This is exactly what we want if we are to develop consistency—it had better be fun, interesting, and rewarding, or we won’t keep going back.
As they say in the drug ads, talk to your doctor and see if exercise is appropriate for you.