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Keep Your Brain Young With Exercise

Seems there's a new study documenting the benefits of exercise virtually every week. This time, University of Florida researchers have found a regular exercise program and light activity decreased cellular aging in the brains of moderately active rats.

Unlike other animal studies, rats weren't forced to run. Nevertheless, the more active rats -- whose exercise would amount to about a 30-minute walk or a light 1-mile run each day in humans -- reduced the byproducts of oxidative stress in their brains, a natural consequence of aging and factor in memory loss. In fact, DNA samples taken from the two-year-old exercising rats resembled those taken from younger ones that were only six months old.

As one scientist wisely pointed out, however, there's one major difference between rats and humans. Putting an exercise wheel in a small cage will entertain and boost the physical and mental health of rats. Buying an exercise bike or a health club membership doesn't mean you'll ever get around to using it...

If your goal is to optimize your health, starting an exercise program is just as important as retooling your diet. To get you headed in the right direction, try viewing exercise like a drug that needs to be prescribed precisely to achieve the most benefits.

To learn more about getting started, you'll want to review some of the more recent columns I've posted by contributing editors and exercise experts Paul Chek and Ben Lerner.

EurekAlert November 12, 2005

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