Saturday October 20, 2018

Exercise Your Legs For Healthy Brain

Further, they found that restricting exercise lowered the amount of oxygen in the body, which created an anaerobic environment and alters metabolism

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Exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and mortality from all causes, but its association with mental health remains unclear. Pixabay
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Exercising your legs is necessary for a healthy brain and nervous system, said a new study that showed that neurological health depends on signals sent by leg muscles to the brain and vice versa.

The results gave doctors new clues as to why patients with motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and other neurological diseases often rapidly decline when their movement becomes limited.

Reducing exercise makes it difficult for the body to produce new nerve cells — some of the very building blocks that allows one to adapt to stress and challenges in life.

“Our study supports the notion that people who are unable to do load-bearing exercises — such as patients who are bed-ridden, or even astronauts on extended travel — not only lose muscle mass, but their body chemistry is altered at the cellular level and even their nervous system is adversely impacted,” said Raffaella Adami from the University of Milan, in Italy.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

During the study, the researchers restricted mice from using their hind legs, but not their front legs for a period of 28 days. They continued to eat and groom normally and did not exhibit stress.

The findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, showed that limiting their leg activity decreased the number of neural stem cells by 70 per cent compared to a controlled group of mice, which were allowed to use their legs.

Further, they found that restricting exercise lowered the amount of oxygen in the body, which created an anaerobic environment and alters metabolism.

Also Read: Carb-Rich Diet May Affect Brain Health

This research demonstrates the critical role of movement and has a range of potential implications. “It is no accident that we are meant to be active: to walk, run, crouch to sit, and use our leg muscles to lift things,” Adami said.

“Neurological health is not a one-way street with the brain telling the muscles “lift, walk, and so on”, Adami said. (IANS)

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Severity Of A Stroke Reduces With Light Exercise: Study

Regular exercise helps the brain to maintain healthy arteries that have more complex networks.

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A stroke patient holds a flower in the therapeutic garden of the Acute Neurological Rehabilitation Unit at Lausanne University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland. VOA

People who regularly engage in light to moderate physical activity — like walking four hours a week or swimming two hours weekly — might have less severe strokes than individuals who aren’t as active, a Swedish study suggests.

Researchers examined data on 925 patients who were treated for strokes at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, between 2014 and 2016. Overall, four in five of these patients had mild strokes.

Slightly more than half of the patients were inactive before their strokes. Compared with this inactive group, people who got at least some exercise before their strokes were twice as likely to have mild strokes, researchers reported in Neurology.

“We knew from earlier research that physical activity could reduce stroke incidence,” lead study author Malin Reinholdsson of the University of Gothenburg said by email. “However, whether or not pre-stroke physical activity could also influence stroke severity was not clear.”

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Being physically active can also help prevent risk factors for stroke, like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure Pixabay

Patients in the study were 73 years old on average and most of them had what’s known as an ischemic stroke, the most common kind, which occurs when a clot blocks an artery carrying blood to the brain. About 6 percent of patients had hemorrhagic strokes, a less common type that is caused by a ruptured blood vessel in the brain.

Surveyed about exercise

To assess pre-stroke activity levels, researchers surveyed participants about the duration and intensity of any exercise they got before they were hospitalized.

Researchers defined “light” activity as walking at a leisurely pace for at least four hours a week, and classified exercise as “moderate” intensity when people did things like swimming, running or walking briskly for two to three hours weekly.

Among 481 people who were inactive, 354, or 74 percent, had mild strokes.
For those who managed light physical activity, 330, or 86 percent, had mild strokes. And among the 59 participants who got moderate intensity exercise, 53, or 90 percent, had mild strokes.

exercise
Yoga is also a good physical exercise. Wikimedia

Age also mattered, with higher odds of a mild stroke for younger people in the study.

The study wasn’t designed to prove whether or how the amount or intensity of exercise might influence stroke severity.

Another limitation is that researchers relied on stroke survivors to accurately recall their previous exercise habits, and memory is often compromised after a stroke.

Even so, the results add to evidence suggesting that an active lifestyle can both lower the risk of stroke and reduce the chances that a stroke will be severe, said Nicole Spartano, co-author of an accompanying editorial and a researcher at Boston University School of Medicine.

“Regular exercise helps the brain to maintain healthy arteries that have more complex networks,” Spartano said by email. “So when a blockage [stroke] happens in one area, there may be another route to provide oxygen to the affected area.”

Also Read: A Majority of Children Die Due to Lack of Basic Healthcare Facilities: UN

Being physically active can also help prevent risk factors for stroke, like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, Spartano noted.

“This study is exciting because it suggests that you might not have to do a lot of intense exercise to see an effect,” Spartano said. (VOA)