Monday, December 12, 2011

Brain Benefits from Aerobics

Mayo Clinic neurologist J. Eric Ahlskog, MD, PhD, spoke about a recently conducted review of the research on aerobic exercise and benefits to the brain. They concluded that "you can make a very compelling argument for [aerobic] exercise as a disease-modifying strategy to prevent dementia and mild cognitive impairment, and for favorably modifying these processes once they have developed.

In the Medscape Medical News article about the research, Dr. Ahlskog was quoted:
...exercise sufficient to elevate the heart rate to about 60% of maximum, and done for about 150 minutes a week [divided], would be a good starting recommendation. This is similar to the American Heart Association recommendation.
Aerobic exercise generates new neurons in the brain. I always ask neurofeedback clients about their exercise habits and educate them about the benefits.

In this post we're talking about "just" benefits to the brain, but I'm sure most readers are also aware of the evidence for aerobic exercise benefit to the cardiovascular system. Brain benefits are yet another reason to start - or keep - moving your body fast enough to get up to that 60%.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback

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