Pill to Increase Motivation to Exercise

A new kind of pill can make a person want to exercise more, a research says.

The researchers say that erythropoietin (Epo) could be used to help people exercise. They found that Epo worked in animal models by increasing motivation to exercise. Also, the hormone did not increase the red blood cell count.

"Here we show that Epo increases the motivation to exercise. Most probably, Epo has a general effect on a person's mood and might be used in patients suffering from depression and related diseases," said Max Gassmann, researcher from the Institute of Veterinary Physiology, University of Zurich, who was involved in the work.

Previous research said that Epo helps increase exercise capacity in people who've had moderate to severe heart failure. People with heart failure often are anemic and face extreme exhaustion during exercise. The authors of the study said that Epo may help reduce exhaustion by increasing oxygen delivery to the tissues.

The efficacy of Epo in exercise was studied on normal people and athletes where Epo was associated with increased exercise capacity.

Another study says that Epo corrects anemia. The hormone is also said to reduce the extent of concussion in people who have had recent brain injury.

Experts say that an average person can prevent diabetes type-2, heart diseases, stroke and various other complications just by adopting a more active lifestyle. 30 minutes of physical activity per day for about 5 days a week is recommended for most people.

"If you can't put exercise in a pill, then maybe you can put the motivation to exercise in a pill instead. As more and more people become overweight and obese, we must attack the problem from all angles. Maybe the day will come when gyms are as easily found as fast food restaurants," said Dr. Gerald Weissmann, editor-in-chief of The FASEB Journal.