A study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience has shown that there’s a fascinating link between physical health and brain performance. It compares the pathological effects of prolonged motor deprivation on astronauts spending extended periods in space and debilitated patients undergoing treatment.

The result reveals that both participants, after exposure to equally movement-limiting situations, experience impact on both their motor and metabolic systems and their nervous system, altering neurogenesis and the interaction between motoneurons and muscle cells. Simply put, taking care of your physical health by having an active lifestyle can help maintain if not improve your mental health.


Why are weight-bearing exercises important to your overall health and wellness?

The study also involved preventing several mice from using their hind legs for 28 days. At the end of the experiment, they found out that the mice’s neural stem cells had declined by around 70 per cent. Their neurons and oligodendrocytes had also failed to fully mature. Whereas, the mice whose hind legs remained free and were subjected to weight-bearing exercises had increased brain functionality.

It can, therefore, be concluded that weight-bearing exercises can help improve brain health. Keeping the muscles active increases the rate at which signals are relayed to the brain. These signals are vital for the production of healthy neural cells the brain and nervous system need. On the contrary, reduced exercise makes it difficult for the body to produce new nerve cells, which are among the building blocks that allow the body to handle stress and adapt to challenges.

The principles established by the research apply to humans as well as to animals. In the words of the lead author Dr. Raffaella Adami, “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. Neurological health is not a one-way street with the brain telling the muscles ‘lift,’ ‘walk,’ and so on.”

When Muscle and Brain Work Together

Maintaining brain health could mean resistance to a wide range of brain diseases, including dementia. Regular exercise at a young age therefore helps lower the risk of acquiring common age-related mental health issues. Apart from that, the research also proves that regular exercise can help increase IQ levels. For instance, 40 minutes of daily exercise can help an average student excel in Math, English, and Social Studies.

Exercise also helps protect your brain functionality by improving blood flow, which consequently increases the production of nerve-protecting compounds. This in turn reduces damaging plaques in your brain, and altering the way these damaging proteins develop, which appears to slow the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

With both your brain and body functioning properly, you can live a long, healthy life. Formulate a workout routine that works for you, but if you really want the perfect workout regimen, especially if you are recovering from a certain injury or illness, consider visiting a physio expert in Newmarket, such as the Institute of Sport Physio. With an expert’s help, you can have access to advanced techniques, which target the muscles that actually need workout.


Reduction of Movement in Neurological Diseases: Effects on Neural Stem Cells Characteristics,