Another day, another slow run keeping the heart rate down. There were signs of progress as I managed to run quite long segments with a flat heart rate. Huzzah! Us runners are very simple folk - all we need is a little bit of encouragement and everything seems brighter, even if the weather is dreich.
Over the past few days I have been superficially looking at the evidence for the benefits of exercise. i started with a video that suggested exercise was a magic treatment - the single most effect way of improving general health, followed it with a correction which said the evidence wasn't quite as dramatic as presented. This was followed with a couple of Cochrane Reviews that looked at the effects on specific complaints.
This is not good enough - there needs to be more of an overview. In 2004 the Department of Health published a report 'At least five a week: Evidence on the impact of exercise and its relationship to health', which can be downloaded. Table ! summarises the level and strength of evidence for a relationship between physical activity and a number of chronic conditions
For me the most important thing is the distinction between the preventative properties of exercise as opposed to its use as a therapy because this makes it clear that there is much stronger evidence for the role of exercise in preventing illness rather than helping with a cure.
P.S. The photo is another one from Monday - some blossom to balance up the greyness of the day.