Could Your Cholesterol Medication be Affecting Your Workouts?
May 28, 2013
Exercise -- is there anything it can’t do? It can protect and improve the health of our bodies and brains, make us feel better, look better, and help us to enjoy doing the things we love even more.
Some people even go so far as to call exercise a miracle drug, and others have started using the term “exercise as medicine.” However, it seems that some medicine can prevent the benefits of exercise.
On a near daily basis, new research comes in showing the benefit of exercise for the brain and a recent study following men for 20 years showed that higher fitness levels provided a significant protective benefit against cancer.
We don’t even really need this type of research as it just adds to the already voluminous amounts of data showing the benefits of exercise in countless ways. And you intuitively know it…you feel better when you do it. But exercise is not invincible. Apparently, the benefits of exercise can be limited by statins – the drugs commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol.
A group of obese adult men and women participated in a study that was published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on May 22, 2013. All of the adults were placed on a 12 week exercise program and half of the participants were also given the drug statin.
The results of the study indicated that the group that was placed on both the drugs and the exercise regimen were significantly less likely to see progress in their physical fitness. So much so, that the group saw a 1.5 percent increase in cardiovascular fitness (as opposed to the statin-free group at 10 percent) and a 4.5 percent decrease in muscular fitness as opposed to their statin-free counterparts' 13 percent increase.
While this is not a recommendation to use or not use statin drugs, these are the most prescribed drugs in the world. Some doctors even advocate having seniors above the age of 50 take this medication prophylactically in order to help prevent heart disease. It is important, if you’re considering taking statins, to start by having a conversation with your doctor.
This is about realizing the power of the human body to be
better, to heal itself, and to change in numerous and unexpected ways when we
treat it right. Sometimes statins are the answer, and sometimes not.
If you’re the type of person that doesn’t exercise or eat a proper diet and you’re considering using drugs to lower your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, or risk for heart disease, talk to your doctor and consider an organic approach first. You may just be able to seize the powerful benefit of exercise and change your life course around – and if not, you can always have that medical discussion with your family doctor too!