The Wonder Pill

October 19, 2017 | Steve Cassabaum

Steve Cassabaum, Physical Therapist and President at 21st Century Rehab

Let me tell you about a wonderful pill. It’s a pill that everyone can take, and I believe all health care professionals should prescribe it for their patients, and every business owner should recommend it and reward their employees with it. This pill can be adjusted for every person, no matter what his or her age or medical condition.

Side effects? There is no upset stomach, no headaches, no dizziness, no risk of allergic reaction, and virtually no interactions with other medications. The side effects of this pill are all positive, except if you start out too fast with the pill you may get a little muscle soreness that goes away in a few days.

The list of benefits includes the following: It lowers your blood pressure; lowers your resting heart rate; decreases your chances of heart disease, lung disease, cancer and diabetes; increases your bone density; helps prevent osteoporosis; helps prevent obesity; increases your metabolism; helps prevent and treat depression; improves posture; improves heart, lung, muscle, joint, bone, skin and digestive systems; improves sleep; improves your self-esteem and confidence; helps your body better fight or prevent common illnesses; helps decrease and prevent the affects of arthritis and aging; increases sex drive; increases your ability to think clearly and get more things done during the day; improves circulation; reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack; helps to fight off addiction to alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine; increases flexibility; increases strength; helps improve almost all pain associated with joints and muscles; improves the health of the spine and nervous system; and improves your chances of living a longer, more independent life in the residence of your choice. Put very simply, this “pill” improves your quality of life in almost every imaginable aspect without the nasty side effects of most other drugs or medications.

Isn’t it a wonder that all doctors don’t prescribe this pill to all the patients they see. Surely if one pill can do all that, every physician would want to recommend it to their patients or prescribe it. There are doctors that do just that. But this pill doesn’t even require a physician’s order or prescription, so anyone can benefit from this pill without having to go to a medical provider. Although understanding the best way to use this pill based on your general health may require you to seek the advice of a licensed health care professional.

I hope I have your curiosity heightened by now. So what is this mystery pill? It’s EXERCISE, of course. Now I know that exercise really isn’t a pill, but you would have to agree that if exercise were in the form of a pill, it would be the number one prescribed medication in the world—especially with all the benefits and no side effects.

The number one reason exercise isn’t prescribed as much as it should be or used as much as it should be is that it doesn’t come in the form of a pill. Taking or prescribing exercise just isn’t that easy. This of course leads us to the number one reason why everyone isn’t taking this wonderful pill or advice when we all know how good exercise is. It’s the time commitment and excuses.

It’s easy to take a pill even three times per day with a glass of water to help control high blood pressure or curb one’s appetite. The total time commitment is a mere 30 seconds per day. In contrast, the time to walk 3-5 times per week could take 1.5-3 hours per week. Who in the heck has time to spend 3 hours per week doing something that can and will improve their quality of life and decrease their dependence on medications? I hope we all can find that time. Quit using excuses. Make the time to do what is best for you and for the ones you love. Start exercising today, not tomorrow. Start slow and keep going. It really is not that hard; you just have to do it. We all make choices. Make your next choice regarding exercise the healthy one. The key is to start. EXERCISE is not a pill, and as a wise person once said, “the best things in life rarely come easy.”

Steve Cassabaum is a physical therapist and president of 21st Century Rehab. Contact him at