Protect your brain and body with exercise

Most of us have read or heard about recent research that tells us to keep active both physically and mentally if we want to keep our brain healthy and reduce the onset of disease such as Alzheimer’s. Water exercise, and specifically buoyancy-assisted exercise, presents an ideal environment to gain these benefits.

Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System tested the effects of aerobic training in a clinical trial with Thirty-Three women and men diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, often a prelude to Alzheimer’s disease.

Twenty-three randomly selected volunteers, began an intense program of aerobic exercise, spending 45 to 60 minutes on a treadmill or stationary bike four days a week. The remaining 10, the study’s control group, spent the same amount of time performing non-aerobic stretching and balance exercises.

After six months, the aerobic exercisers showed significant gains in mental agility, while the non-aerobic group showed continuing decline in tests of thinking speed, fluency with words, and ability to multi-task.

Most anyone can gain the benefits of getting their heart rate up to aerobic and anaerobic levels with buoyancy-assisted exercise. Jogging and running without pounding or impact upon hips, knees and ankles to support the body opens the door and raises activity levels to where they do the most good.

Aerobic exercise probably protects the brain in several ways. It builds heart and artery resilience, which boosts blood flow to the brain. Exercise keeps energy metabolism stable, preventing and even reversing diabetes. Exercise also relieves stress, preventing damaging chain-reactions unleashed by the build-up of stress hormones. Being suspended in the water provides an ideal stress-free and relaxing environment to achieve aerobic exercise these benefits.

While it remains unknown whether fitness training can prevent Alzheimer’s, many scientists firmly believe it is more likely to help than existing pharmaceuticals or supplements, which have failed to show preventive effects in clinical trials.

Because lifestyle factors seem to lower the risk, some researchers suspect that physical fitness, overall health and mental stimulation provide a buffer, or reserve, that allows the brain to withstand more damage and still function normally.

Dr. Michael Mega, a neurologist and neuroscientist with the Providence Brain Institute in Portland, said the Seattle study fits with the emerging view that heart health and brain health go hand in hand.
Products that aid buoyancy-assisted exercise:

Buoyancy belts | Hand gear | Footgear | Sqoodles

11 Responses to “Protect your brain and body with exercise”

  1. Philip Says:

    The main problem with non weight bearing exercises is that they don’t increase bone density. As a matter of fact , bone density is lost. I think that you should mention this in your articles.

  2. Martha P. Salazar Says:

    M aybe do you have all information in Spanish, please? Thank you so much.

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