that exercise is good for the heart and builds strong muscles. As we
have become more knowledgeable, we have learned about the beneficial
effects of weight lifting on strong bones and the importance of
flexibility to keep us injury-free.
If asked about physical exercise and the brain, we usually think
about stress relief and how activity helps us deal with the issues of
everyday life. Here's one more reason to start moving: physical
exercise may keep you smart. When you live a sedentary lifestyle, one
of the main results is a decrease in blood flow. We often equate this
to the circulation in our hands, feet or even to our heart. That
circulation also includes the blood flow to our brain.
The main reasons that we loss brain cells is through decreased
oxygen and glucose metabolism. Both of these are controlled by our
blood flow. As blood flow decreases, oxygen delivery decreases. As
oxygen decreases, brain cells die off. It doesn't take a brain surgeon
to realize that increased blood flow in the body will result in more
available oxygen for the brain.
With the fast pace of today's world, it is easy to find ways to
mentally exercise your brain. Information and new learning
opportunities are available 24-7. But don't overlook the physical
reality that what is good for your heart is also good for your head!
~Kerren Lynch-Gallagher MS,NCMT,PFT