Exercise as Potent Medicine (Recipe: Cinnamon Shortbread Bars)

I read this New York Times article from awhile back on “Exercise as Potent Medicine”.  I found it very interesting.  It starts out with this line:  “Exercise can be as effective as many frequently prescribed drugs in treating some of the leading causes of death.”  Interesting, right?

Basically, there was a study where researchers compared how well various drugs and exercise succeeded in reducing deaths among people diagnosed with heart disease, chronic heart failure, stroke or diabetes.  The researchers gathered all of the recent randomized controlled trials, as well as previous reviews and meta-analyses of older experiments relating to mortality among patients with those diseases, whether they had been treated with drugs or exercise.

They ended up with data covering 305 past experiments that, collectively, involved almost 340,000 participants.  However, only 57 of the experiments, involving 14,716 volunteers, had examined the impact of exercise as a treatment.  But this was enough to still get significant results.

What did they find?  The results consistently showed that drugs and exercise produced almost exactly the same results.  People with heart disease, for instance, who exercised but did not use commonly prescribed medications, including statins, angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors or antiplatelet drugs, had the same risk of dying from — or surviving — heart disease as patients taking those drugs. Similarly, people with diabetes who exercised had the same relative risk of dying from the condition as those taking the most commonly prescribed drugs.  Only in chronic heart failure were drugs noticeably more effective than exercise.

I hope you found this interesting, too!

In Envy news, I love her box turn! 🙂  Alise took some great pictures of her on the box at the flyball seminar!

envy_seminar1 envy_seminar2

And my LRD is just so darn cute.

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Food for Thought:  Kefir.  This cultured milk supplies an array of healthy bacteria, including one strain called L. casei. In one study, participants were given a daily dose of L. casei for two months.  At the end of the study, they had lower levels of inflammatory markers and less joint stiffness than a placebo group.

Quote of the Day:

“Training for a race is sort of like a metaphor for life–it shows you how important goals are, it shows you how much you are capable of, it shows you the power of dedication.” -Ashley Cadaret

I made these Cinnamon Shortbread Bars for our family’s Christmas Eve get-together.  Some people are fans of shortbread, others are not.  I am a fan.  I made this recipe several times in grad school because some of my cohort really liked these bars since they were sweet but not too sweet.  You’ll just have to try them to find out!

Cinnamon Shortbread Bars

Cinnamon Shortbread Bars


– 1 1/2 cups AP flour

– 3/4 cup powdered sugar

– 1/2 cup cake flour

– 1 cup butter, softened

– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


– 1 tablespoon sugar

– 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon


– Heat oven to 350*.

– Combine all the shortbread ingredients and press dough evenly into the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 baking pan.

– Sprinkle the topping ingredients over the shortbread

– Prick dough all over with a fork.

– Bake for 20-30 minutes and cut bars while still warm.

This entry was posted in Callie!, Envy, Nutrition, Overall Health and News, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Exercise as Potent Medicine (Recipe: Cinnamon Shortbread Bars)

  1. Pingback: The Murdock Study (Recipe: Gingersnaps) | Oven Lovin' Runnin'

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