Today, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. This alarming statistic is keeping scientists busy looking for that “magic exercise pill”. Turns out, they may have found it. Well, at least the motivation to exercise that is. A team of Swiss researchers found that when a hormone in the brain called erythropoietin (Epo) was elevated in mice, the mice were more motivated to exercise. “Here we show that Epo increases the motivation to exercise,” said Max Gassmann, D.V.M., a researcher involved in the work from the Institute of Veterinary Physiology, Vetsuisse-Faculty and Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. “Most probably, Epo has a general effect on a person’s mood and might be used in patients suffering from depression and related diseases.”
Obesity-related conditions such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer comprise the nation’s leading causes of death. One of the best forms of preventing and treating these diseases is exercise. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking, 5 times a week can net big health protective results.
“If you can’t put exercise in a pill, then maybe you can put the motivation to exercise in a pill instead,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal, which published the research. “As more and more people become overweight and obese, we must attack the problem from all angles. Maybe the day will come when gyms are as easily found as fast-food restaurants.”
Hmmm, wonder if this will motivate my son to clean his room?