21 Jan No More Gym: Scientists Are Working On An Exercise Pill
A gym is an open plan torture chamber with every implement and instrument there designed to cause you pain and discomfort. It’s a modern day church for the sadistic where we try and remove the shame and guilt of overeating, with a modern form of penance that is physical exercise. (Very close to exorcise isn’t it…)
Where monks back in the 11th century whipped themselves to please their God and to try and avoid getting struck with the plague, modern gym evangelists strap themselves with iron bars, load them with increasingly heavier weights and put their bodies through hell.
Because the pain and suffering is meant to benefit you in the long term. How very Catholic.
Thankfully a crack team of researchers and scientists from The University of Michigan have asked a question us lazy people have been asking for years – “how can you get the benefits of exercising, without having to actually exercise?!”
If truth be told, they did not have lazy people are the forefront of their minds in crafting their research. They were hoping to identify ways in which people who are disabled, paralysed or long term bed bound due to illness, might be able to gain some if not all the benefits that regular exercise would bring them.
And they identified sestrin – a protein that is created when we exercise and is responsible for activating many of the benefits of exercise, including improved endurance, improved insulin sensitivity, better lung capacity and fat burning and muscle building/maintaining.
The era of exercise tablets may be that bit closer.
Last night on the Room 104, I spoke to Russell Wessells, who was one of the scientists involved in the research. Speaking about the protein sestrin he said “you can actually confer the benefits of exercise on animals even when they don’t exercise at all, they can be completely sedentary and yet just by turning on this protein, they gradually become more and more fit.”
This protein sestrin is in you and me. It’s seen widespread across the animal kingdom and finding out how to activate it could bring to an end to the era of you questioning your life decisions halfway through a sweaty spinning class. Just pop an exercise pill and you’re set.
Unfortunately, Ross mentioned that development of such a pill is still some years away. And that this research was done on flies and mice, so they might be the ones to see the benefits first.
Ross Wessells Interview
You can listen back to the full interview with Ross Wessells here, or grab it on your usual podcast platform.