There’s no escaping brain drain as we get older … or is
there?! Chiropractic Care shares some recent research about how to keep one’s
brain active and healthy as we age, and it’s not all about doing more crossword
puzzles or reading more! Brain research is delving into all types of exercise
activities that can help keep the brain sharp. Our Chicago
chiropractic patients – young and old alike – will surely appreciate this
There is just no escaping exercise. Exercise is essential
for your body and your brain. Chiropractic Care understandably recommends
exercise for back pain and neck pain along with our Cox Technic treatment. Exercise enhances the chiropractic care
we offer in the office. It keeps our Chicago back pain and neck pain
patients moving toward the goal of pain relief. But Chiropractic Care is well
aware that keeping the mind sharp is essential for our patients to be able to
cooperate fully in their treatment plan. But what is the best way to keep
sharp? What are some options?
How about water-based exercise? Physical exercise is
reportedly the most effective method to improve brain health and cognitive function.
One study compared two groups of different types of water exercise. Both exercise
routines helped the participants improve in various areas like improved
attention, memory and learning. One routine showed dramatic improvement in
walking and lower limb muscle strength. (1) Researchers emphasize that it’s
important to match the patient to the routine for optimal outcomes.
How about integrative exercise? This involves such exercises
as tai-chi, yoga, Feldenkrais, dance movement therapy and basic functional
movement like practicing sit-to-stand motions. Researchers worked with patients
who had dementia and found that this type of integrative exercise benefits
these patients functionally (body awareness, movement memory), emotionally
(resting when needed, sharing stories and feelings, positive toward exercise),
and socially (more coherent and better friend making). (2) So maybe you’ll want
to check out some Chicago exercise classes after you talk with your
How about some simple yoga? An 8 week trial comparing yoga
to stretching-strengthening exercise in older participants reveals that those
who did yoga showed significantly improved performance on executive function
measures (working memory capacity and efficiency of mental set shifting and
flexibility). (3) So maybe yoga would be good for you. But talk with
Chiropractic Care first before attempting your first down-dog or sun salutation!
What about starting early in life? Can that help? It should!
A recent study points out that an “acute bout of exercise” before learning
boosts memory, particularly long-term memory, and verbal learning. (4) Now, Chiropractic Care isn’t recommending
our older Chicago patients start doing calisthenics like young kids
do, but maybe a brisk walk will stimulate your memory power!
One last side-note that some Chicago chiropractic
may directly affect: chronic low back pain causes atrophy – shrinkage – of the
brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Treating and relieving that pain is
shown to reverse the atrophy and actually show increased thickness. (5)
So contact Chiropractic Care for a Chicago health
examination and discussion of what exercise routine may be appropriate for your
brain and your body to keep them both healthy and sharp!