Those '50s-era dreams of taking pills to solve all your problems? They're more realistic than you might think. Researchers have created a blueprint of the molecular-level muscle reactions to exercise that should lead to treatments which mimic workouts. Yes, that means that you could eventually take an exercise pill that produces the effects of hitting the gym without all that pesky time and effort. Any pill would be "at least a decade" away, the University of Sydney's Dr. Nolan Hoffman explains, but the scientists are "actively working on" that vision -- it's not just a daydream.
It's tempting to see any future pill as little more than a dietary supplement for the health-conscious, but the discoverers believe that it could be a powerful medical tool. Many people can't exercise all their muscles the way they'd like, such as sufferers of cardiovascular diseases. A treatment like this could keep those patients in better shape, and might even help some of them resume real exercise. Could it result in the laziest generation yet? Possibly, but that trade-off could be worthwhile if it improves the health of humanity as a whole.
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