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Have you noticed lately that you can’t remember where you parked your car? Or maybe you’ve had trouble recalling your latest email password? Sure, there’s an app for that, but maybe what’s really been missing is exercise. Regular physical activity can be linked to a long list of health benefits, ranging from maintaining a healthy weight to preventing cardiovascular disease. Yet more and more research is drawing a direct correlation between exercise and cognitive health.

In fact, a study published in Comprehensive Physiology explores the notion that an insufficient amount of exercise can lead to metabolic dysfunction, a contributing factor to the development of neurological disorders. The researchers point to the troubling fact that about 70% of Americans engage in less than 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a day.

The knowledge that exercise is an effective, noninvasive way to combat neurological and cognitive decline is enough for most people to seek ways to become more active. To do so safely, particularly for those who have a low level of prior activity or who are deconditioned following an illness or injury, it’s best to begin with a consultation with a medical professional. In particular, physical therapists are trained to evaluate, treat and educate patients who are interested in increasing their activity levels.

“Many of our patients describe an increase in overall health once finishing their physical therapy plan of care, regardless of their initial complaint. Exercise will not only help patients with a specific impairment, but it can empower patients to begin daily exercise regimes for whole body health,” stated Jim Mike Hinzman, PT, Cert. MDT of East Athens Physical Therapy.

Because exercise is a core component of any physical therapy program, a physical therapist is the perfect professional to develop a custom treatment plan that includes some combination of flexibility, strength, coordination and balance exercises designed to gradually achieve optimal physical function. In addition, PTs are trained to tailor the approach to suit each patient’s specific goals, and to help develop a home exercise program for long-term, injury-free success.

“Educating and helping patients with lifestyle changes such as exercise gives us, as Physical Therapists, satisfaction in that we are making a difference in our community. At East Athens Physical Therapy, we want to be involved with our community in helping to promote overall health for all ages,” stated Hinzman.

Engaging in physical activities that keep your brain functioning at top-notch can be as simple as adding a daily walk to your regime, training for a 5K or joining a community sports and
recreation center—as recommended by a healthcare professional. In addition to boosting your brain function—and helping to prevent certain neurological conditions—being more active will
improve your mood, help you sleep better and enjoy a healthier lifestyle overall.

Published on October 18, 2018 8:34 am
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