July 1, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

Health News that Brings Hope

Why do we never see articles claiming that exercise is bad?  Here are some more reasons to get moving.

  • Work your brain:  Who wouldn’t mind a few more brain cells?  EurekAlert reported research from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden that exercise can stimulate the formation of new brain cells.  They think this helps explain why exercise also is good therapy for depression.
  • Save your heart:  It’s not too late to get the cardiac benefits of aerobic exercise.  EurekAlert reported that changes in lifestyle habits, even if done later in life, can improve your risk of preventing heart disease.

    There were three key findings from the study – first, the benefit of switching to a healthy lifestyle past age 45 became evident even in the 4-year, short-term follow up; second, the beneficial impact of the changes occurred despite the relatively modest changes in health habits; and third, the healthy lifestyle was beneficial when compared to all persons with three or fewer healthy habits, not just in comparison to people with none or one habit.

    The four lifestyle changes that produced these benefits are: (1) Eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables a day, (2) Exercise 2.5 hours per week, (3) Don’t smoke, and (4) Keep your body mass index between 18 and 35 (see calculator).

Other news on health deserves thinking about while you exercise:

  • Amazing recovery:  A man in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) like that of Terry Schiavo came back from the living dead, reported LifeSite.  Doctors had written off accident victim Jesse Ramirez as a “hopeless vegetable,” but he awoke after a month-long coma and was able to sit up, answer questions, and hug.  He is now on the road to recovery.
  • Another adult stem cell success:  Mesenchymal stem cells enhance hearing recovery, reported EurekAlert.  Fibroblast cells in the inner ear were shown to grow and survive in lab studies with stem cells from bone marrow.

These stories all seem to have one truism in common: never give up hope.

It wasn’t that long ago that scientists told us that brain cells never grow back, that inner ear damage was permanent and unfixable, that people in a coma should be put out to pasture, and that exercise was too late for old people.  These stories should be cause for hope and celebration.  Now get outdoors and get some healthy sweat.

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