Maintaining your fitness without exercising sounds like a dream, right? Well, international research is set to turn this fact on its head, with the introduction of an ‘exercise pill’ promising to generate the effects of exercise without expending any energy.

A new study conducted by University of Sydney and the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, published in Cell Metabolism on October 1, 2015 reported on the outcomes of four, untrained but healthy men who engaged in high-intensity exercise for 10 minute intervals. The protein activities in the gentlemen’s bodies were monitored, revealing that their physical activity caused approximately 1000 molecular changes.

In a news article reporting on this research, published on The Sydney University website on October 2, 2015, study investigator, Dr Nolan Hoffman, Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Science, Sydney stated, “This is a major breakthrough, as it allows scientists to use this information to design a drug that mimics the true beneficial changes caused by exercise.”

Additional research published in the journal Trends in Pharmacological Sciences on October 2, 2015 sheds further light on the potential future of pills containing compounds proven to imitate the effects of exercise. An article published in The Atlantic October 19, 2015, discusses this scientific breakthrough and cites, research co-author, Dr Ismail Laher, Pharmacology Professor at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, stating “It is unrealistic to expect that exercise pills will fully be able to substitute for physical exercise – at least not in the immediate future.”

Given the various benefits of exercise to the body and the brain, including improved cardiovascular health and the alleviation of symptoms of depression, experts claim it is unlikely the development of a pill will replace exercise completely.

A pill mimicking the benefits of exercise could make a significant contribution to the health and wellness of those restricted by physical movement, due to age, ability, health and/or lifestyle limitations. If the benefits of this proposed exercise pill are not abused, and individuals strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle, this promising medical breakthrough could very well reduce the incidence of chronic diseases, including obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Watch this space for further updates.