Check out the recent post by the Australian Osteopathic Association on exercise and the body

Exercise the body, build the brain

The University of NSW reports that researchers have, for the first time, isolated exercise as the key factor in triggering the production of functional new cells in the learning and memory centre of the brain. Leading international neuroscientist, Dr Henriette van Praag’s research has demonstrated a causal link between exercise and brain regeneration, or neurogenesis, in the brains of mice. She says the results raise crucial questions about the potential of exercise to maximise cognitive function in humans throughout life and to build a brain “buffer” to hold off neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. “What is most exciting is that a cheap, simple, lifestyle intervention like exercise can influence the production and integrity of new nerve cells in the brain, which suggests our behavioural choices have influence over the functionality of our brains. “Exercising mice added the most new brain cells when they were young, so it would seem that being young and active is a very good thing for cognitive development,” she says.

Six out of ten Australian adults not getting enough exercise

Around six out of ten Australian adults did not meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity in 2007-08, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Women were less likely than men to have met the guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week (29% compared with 33%). Around three-quarters of people aged 75 years and over did not meet these guidelines. The remainder of the population exercised more, with their levels ranging from 56% to 64%. Being physically inactive can lead to being overweight and obese, which can increase the risk of developing a number of chronic health conditions. Men and women who were sedentary or exercised at low levels were more likely to have heart disease, stroke and vascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and arthritis than those who exercised at moderate or high levels.

Rehabilitation the ‘great missing link’ in the healthcare system

The lack of publically funded community-based rehabilitation and restorative programs is one of the great missing links in the Australian health care system, according to leading Australian physicians. Associate Professor Chris Poulos has called for renewed action on disability and rehabilitation care. He said “As the population ages there will be more people in the community with chronic disease, frailty and reduced ability to function and live as independently as they would like.” He said that the aging population will place even greater pressure on the health and aged care systems, particularly on residential aged care and community services. Investment in rehabilitation services at the community level is one of the most viable solutions to the aging population.

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