Exercise your legs for healthy brain

Exercising your legs is necessary for a healthy brain and nervous system, said a new study that showed that neurological health depends on signals sent by leg muscles to the brain and vice versa.

The results gave doctors new clues as to why patients with motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy and other neurological diseases often rapidly decline when their movement becomes limited.

Reducing exercise makes it difficult for the body to produce new nerve cells — some of the very building blocks that allows one to adapt to stress and challenges in life.

“Our study supports the notion that people who are unable to do load-bearingexercises — such as patients who are bed-ridden, or even astronauts on extended travel — not only lose muscle mass, but their body chemistry is altered at the cellular level and even their nervous system is adversely impacted,” said Raffaella Adami from the University of Milan, in Italy.

During the study, the researchers restricted mice from using their hind legs, but not their front legs for a period of 28 days. They continued to eat and groom normally and did not exhibit stress.

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