Newberry Observer

Science of exercise

Doctors, researchers, scientists, ancient philosophers have long claimed exercise works like a miracle drug. Now they have proof, the most effective potent way to improve quality of life and duration of life is exercise.

Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky, McMaster University, Ontario says in studies where blood is drawn immediately after people exercised, researchers found that many positive changes occur throughout the body during and right after a workout.. Going for a run is going to improve your skin, eye and gonadal health. If there was a drug that could do that for human health everything that exercise can, it would be the most valuable pharmaceutical ever developed.

The trouble is only 20% of Americans get the recommended 150 minutes of strength and cardiovascular activity per week. The consequences of a sedentary life are as well documented as they are dire. People with low levels of physical activity are at higher risk for many different kinds of cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and early death by any cause. Long before that, inactivity can worsen arthritis symptoms, increase lower back pain and lead to depression and anxiety.

In addition to the heart, muscles, lungs and bones, scientists are finding that another beneficiary of exercise might be the brain. Recent research links exercise to less depression, better memory and quicker learning. Studies also suggest that exercise, is as of now, the best way to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s which is second only to cancer as the disease Americans fear most, according to surveys.

Three drills Your Heart Will Love: (Dr. Norman Dodge’s research shows that you can take action to maintain and even improve your cognitive ability .)

• A Novel Idea—One of the surest ways to remain mentally agile is to undertake unfamiliar challenges such as learning a new language, taking up a new instrument, or mastering a new dance. These activities engage a part of the brain called the nucleus basalis, which is responsible for helping us to pay attention and to consulate new connections in the brain when we learn. For optimal results, the new activity should be practiced an hour each day with high quality concentration maintained throughout.

• Don’t Defy the Tyrant—sleep has been called the “gentle tyrant” because every man, woman and child must bow in submission to it. If you skimp on sleep, you might incur a whole host of physical and mental health problems. Taking sleep seriously guarantees benefits, including some big ones for the brain. During our sleep our newly established neutral connections—formed from learning we did the previous day—become stronger. Also, during sleep brain cells called glia open passes that flush out the brain’s waste products and toxic buildups—including proteins that accumulate in dementia in the 19th century, the average adult sleeps around seven hours per night and the number is falling. Recommendations vary, as do individual needs, but most of our brains would benefit from getting more sleep.

• Move It—Studies show that regular exercises such as walking, jogging, cycling or swimming can slush your chances of suffering from dementia as much as 60%. Physical exercise puts our brains in a more neoplastic state. Dr. Norman Dodge’s research says growth factors act like growth-induced fertilizer in the brain. This exercise –induced facilitates in the brain’s ability to build connections between cells when it is learning.

For all merits, however, exercise is not an effective way to lose weight research has shown. Many people actually gain weight after they start exercising. Whether from new muscle mass or a fired-up appetite. Exercise does a lot, it just might not show on the scale. One hundred is the number of calories per day a person can burn just by doing more activities, like taking the stairs, singing and laughing.

One of the best pieces of news is that so much of what we already do counts as physical activity. Mowing the grass, raking leaves, washing the car—all that is exercise. Walking improves memory, well being, heart health and even creativity. Running improves sleep and makes bones stronger. Cycling has been shown to increase brain connectivity and doing it at any intensity improves a depressed mood. Physical activity includes all movement. Standing more and sitting less is linked to a lower risk of cancer, diabetes and early death from any cause.

Abs Get No Time Off

You rely on them when sitting at your desk, rolling over in bed, scooping up your toddler—even when coughing or sneezing. And although you may take the muscles for granted, these moves can become painful, if not impossible, if your abs are injured or weakened. Keep them ready for around the clock action by being mindful of your posture. Whether you are sitting, walking, or standing still, practice pulling your belly button in toward your back, which will engage and word your core. Stick “Pull in abs” reminders on your computer, bathroom mirror—whatever you see the most. Yes, your abs are called into play when you lift that purse off the floor.


1. They help prevent falls. Strong abdominal muscles boost balance and stability to help stop you from taking a spill when walking on uneven ground.

2. They are like a body guard. If you accidentally get an elbow to the stomach, the abs contract to protect your internal organs, such as the intestines and liver.

3. They keep you dry. Strengthening the abs may help lessen the chance of stress incontinence, a condition that can cause to pee accidentally when you laugh, cough or sneeze.

4. Dust off the treadmill; it’s one of your secret weapons for a slimmed-down stomach.

Margaret Brackett

Contributing Columnist

Margaret Brackett is from Newberry. Her columns appear weekly in The Newberry Observer.