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Exercise Can Have A Positive Impact on the Brain

by Dr. Dane Donohue

It has long been accepted wisdom that exercising several times a week has many health benefits – from weight loss to preventing cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and Type 2 diabetes. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign believe you can add better brain function to the list.

After reviewing clinical data from the past 40 years, the researchers established that regular exercise might help brain structure and function in the elderly to the point of delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and reducing mortality. They found that people who exercise several times per week for at least 15 to 30 minutes, may delay the onset of neurological diseases, age-related cognitive decline, brain atrophy, depression and dementia.

Exercise increases neuroprotective molecules in the brain while physical and mental activity sustains the levels of cerebral blood flow. In addition, the research concluded that the benefits of exercise could last for up to several decades – even for people predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings are encouraging. Vanity is not the only reason to lace up your jogging shoes. Documentation regarding the long-term effects of a healthy lifestyle is a step in the right direction in the fight to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and perhaps other neurological disorders. For those looking to partake in a wellness regimen, the Illinois-based researchers believe that aerobic exercise seems to have the most health benefits because it strengthens brain plasticity as well.

There’s validity in comparisons of the human body and a fine automobile. The care and maintenance you provide often make the ride longer and more enjoyable.

Reference Material:

Laurie Barclay, "Exercise May Have Neuroprotective Effect," Medscape, August 11, 2006 (Edited and re-written by Tekla Szymanski)






Dr. Dane Donohue, along with his twin sister, Dr. Denise Chranowski, and Dr. Jerry Agasar, are the owners of Wellness Solution Centers. Located in Newtown, this Wellness Center has all the tools and resources to dramatically improve your health, including chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, personal training, and nutritional counseling. www.wscenters.com

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