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Friday, August 12, 2011

Exercise Beats About Two Dozen Health Problems

In the December, 2010 issue of the International Journal of Clinical Practice, a review of 40 different research studies were published that shows that regular exercise helps ward off about 25 different serious health problems.

The research findings were originally published between 2006 and 2010. Combining these studies, Leslie Alford, a physiotherapist and lecturer at the University of East Anglia in England states that, "Aside from quitting smoking, the best thing a person can do to try to stay healthy is exercise on a regular basis".

Among the health problems that exercising can help prevent are cancers, dementia, erectile dysfunction, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression, and hypertension. Walking for 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week is recommended or jogging for 20 minutes a day for 3 days a week is encouraged for those physically fit.

Alford also states that older people should not slow down as they age, but encourages them to be as active as possible. Physical activity can include walking, cycling, running, dancing, swimming or gardening. But, what if you lack motivation to exercise?

Experts say that at first it's about convincing your mind that you will enjoy it. Once, you have established a routine, you will actually crave exercise. The endorphins that are released during exercise imitates the feeling of "high" or well-being. These chemicals have a direct relation to the amount of serotonin in the blood stream, a chemical that fights depression and helps you get a good night's sleep.

Exercising regularly also stimulates a process in the brain called neurogenesis. This is the creation of new neurons. These new neurons are created in the brain where learning and memory are centered called the hippocampus. So does this mean that exercising can make you smarter and improve your memory? Research suggests that it may.

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