Weight-bearing leg exercises send signals to the brain that are important for the production of Healthy Neural cells | Study Finds


A new study published on the 23rd of may 2018 in Sciencedaily.com indicates that exercise and in particular weight-bearing leg exercises send signals to the brain that are important for the production of healthy neural cells.  The results of the study have wide-ranging implication in the way we study the brain the nervous system and muscles. According to the researchers, the results of the study will give clues as to why people with muscular conditions, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis spinal muscle atrophy often decline when their movement becomes limited.

The study is consistent with popular literature that shows that people who are not able to perform load-bearing exercises such those bedridden, astronauts and those that do a lot of travel not only lose their muscle mass. But also their body chemistry is altered at a cellular level, and even their nervous system is adversely affected. Another study that was done in Japan found that through utilising HS for a CNS model and explicitly investigating the neurotrophic factors and stress protein levels. Researchers in the study identified a possible source of reduced production of neural cells due to the lack of exercise.

Keys points

What is interesting about the study is that further analysis of both neurons and oligodendrocytes (specialised cells that support and insulate nerve cells) didn’t get fully mature when exercise was severely reduced.

This study will hopefully impact the way doctors treat people with disorders of the central nervous system like multiple sclerosis, Balo concentric sclerosis and generally other disorders of the CNS according to the researchers.

The study also reviewed that lack of exercise limits the amount of oxygen to the cells. The effect of this is that it creates an anaerobic environment in the body which in turn alters metabolism.

It is widely understood that patients who a bedridden often suffer from muscle atrophy due to reduced daily activity, they are often depressed as well. Studies show that patients or the elderly who exercise or undergo physical therapy tend to display less depressive or stressful behaviour, this includes reduced stressful and depressive behaviour.

Muscle atrophy will often affect the way people metabolize food, which can lead to obesity and other chronic illness. The slow metabolism that is seen in the elderly is likely due to muscle atrophy. The prevailing theory among geriatric caregivers is that physical activities will often reduce the impact of ageing. Thereby reducing the amount of time resources caregivers need to spend on patients.

Other studies have shown that higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with an improved long-term cardiovascular function in people with type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Exercise in individuals with type 2 diabetes has been shown to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, glycemic control and other metabolic parameters.

Below is a list of reasons why leg workouts are good for your general health

  • Exercising helps you create a more significant upper body
  • Exercising legs enables you to increase your overall strength,
  • Stronger squats and deadlifts mean stronger legs and core. This helps with your overall posture, symmetry and enables you to burn fat.

In conclusion, controlling diet and increasing the total energy expenditure will improve overall health the literature on that is extensive. Physical activity does not mean everyone becomes a bodybuilder, it just means, for example, walking to work, instead of driving. You don’t have made significant changes to your diet or general lifestyle, small changes tend to more effective.



Anthony, S. S., Date, I., & Yasuhara, T. (2017). Limiting exercise inhibits neuronal recovery from neurological disorders. Brain Circulation3(3), 124.

Pandey, A., Swift, D. L., McGuire, D. K., Ayers, C. R., Neeland, I. J., Blair, S. N., … Church, T. S. (2015). Metabolic Effects of Exercise Training Among Fitness-Nonresponsive Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: The HART-D Study. Diabetes Care38(8), 1494–1501. http://doi.org/10.2337/dc14-2378



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