Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do the Brain Benefits of Exercise Last?

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Do the Brain Benefits of Exercise Last?


    One of the many perks of exercising is that it is well known to support
your brain health through BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor). This even
spurs the creation of new brain cells (a process called neurogenesis).

    Exercise boosts brain health through multiple pathways, including
improving your hormone levels, increasing blood flow to your brain,reducing
stress, and many others likely yet to be discovered.

    The benefits of exercise can be felt rather quickly, which is great for
motivation… but what happens if you stop exercising? As you might suspect,
new research suggests your brain may quickly revert back to its pre-exercise

Move It or Lose It: You’ve Got to Keep Exercising to Sustain the Brain

    If you work out religiously for three months, then suddenly stop for an
extended period, your muscle tone will definitely suffer. This is one of the
more obvious examples that your body is designed for regular exercise, not
sporadic or infrequent activity.

    Likewise, two new studies presented at the 2012 annual meeting of the
Society for Neuroscience also revealed that the brain benefits of exercise
also quickly fade if your exercise program stops.

    In the first study, active rats that had a week of inactivity were pitted
against completely inactive rats while performing memory tests. The
previously active rats completed the tests much faster and had at least twice
as many new neurons in the hippocampus region (the “memory center”) of their
brains. But remember, this was after just one week of inactivity.

    At three weeks of inactivity, their new neurons began to decrease, as did
their performance on the memory test. After six weeks of no activity, the
neurons declined even more, as did their memory test scores, leading the
study authors to suggest the “exercise-induced benefits may be transient.”1

    In the second study, rats that were active for 10 weeks, followed by
three weeks of inactivity, had brains that were nearly identical to those of
rats that had been completely inactive. In prior studies, it was shown that
exercise had a favorable effect on the animals’ moods, making them less
anxious and more resilient to stress. However, the new research suggests that
such benefits “wear off quickly.” As the first study’s senior author noted:2

        “Brain changes are not maintained when regular physical exercise is
interrupted… though our observations are restricted to rats, indirect
evidence suggests that the same phenomenon occurs in human beings.”

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It’s Not Too Late to Get Moving!

    While the benefits of exercise might fade fast, they can also be achieved
relatively quickly. Exercising – even briefly – can change your DNA in a way
that readies your body for increased muscle strength and fat burning. It also
boosts your natural human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is important
for maintaining muscle mass as you age. If you’re approaching middle-age or
beyond, you might be thinking that it’s too late for you to get in shape, but
this is not the case.

    Remember, you are never too old to start exercising.

    In fact, exercise gets even more important with advancing age. Research
shows that, no matter your age, you stand to gain significant improvements in
strength, range of motion, balance, bone density and mental clarity through
exercise. It’s also been revealed that if you're fit at 50, you're much more
likely to be healthy into your 70s and 80s.

    According to new research, men and women who'd been the least fit in
their 40s and 50s developed the most chronic conditions early in the aging
process, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's, COPD, kidney
disease, and lung or colon cancer.3

    Essentially, being physically fit "compresses the time" you are likely to
spend being debilitated during old age. Clearly, exercising throughout your
lifespan is highly beneficial, and the earlier you start, the more profound
the benefits will be. It makes sense, then, that if you exercise regularly,
you are preventing and reducing chronic disease processes throughout your
entire life. This will make a major difference in your quality of life at all
ages …

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More Exercise Isn’t Necessarily Better

    One of the most common reasons why people give up on exercise, and
therefore lose out on all of its priceless benefits, is a lack of time. So if
you think you need to spend an hour pounding the treadmill every day in order
to be fit, then you'll be pleased to learn this is an outdated myth.

    Research has disproven it many times in recent years, such as in one
study that found those who spent 30 minutes per day exercising lost more
weight than those who spent a full hour at it every day.4 While it may be
counterintuitive, the results showed moderate exercisers got more for their
effort – they lost more weight in half the time.5

    So it really is possible, and imperative, to fit regular exercise into
virtually any schedule. Previous research has shown that just 20 minutes of
high-intensity interval training, two to three times a week, can yield
greater results than slow and steady conventional aerobics performed five
times a week.

Thank You  Dr. Mercola


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God Bless Everyone & God Bless The United States of America.

Larry Nelson
42 S. Sherwood Dr.
Belton, Tx. 76513

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