First – credit to New York Times. Specifically Gretchen Reynolds who provides wise perspectives on sport and exercise medicine. Like this piece about exercise for brain function. Gretchen provides balanced, topical sports medicine coverage – she picks the emerging winners and doesn’t get blinded by fads. She has been on exercise and brain function for a while – if it were a stock, think Apple over recent years or Blackberry during 2000-2005. The NYT’s Tara Parker-Pope is active on Twitter (@NYTimesWell) – definitely good to follow.
Second, the BJSM actively promotes this area of Exercise is Medicine. One review relating resistance training and cognitive benefit will get you started. In the same issue, the paragon of the field, Art Kramer, summarizes aerobic exercise effects.
For more spice and intrigue, consider Leon Flicker’s gentle rebuke to the NIH for their failing to acknowledge the evidence for exercise and brain function in their 2010 consensus statement. An Australian had to lead that push because US researchers want NIH funding – don’t bite the hand that feeds you! But why didn’t the NIH do a better job? Is this a case for Ray Moynihan? (Twitter @RayMoynihan and ‘Selling Sickness’ via Amazon). To spell it out, do major agencies undervalue the benefits of physical activity for health because there is no corporate support? (Omission rather than commission?).
OK – enough for a weekend!
Take home message = exercise for your brain – your heart will thank you for it!
And third, remember that any drug trial that shows a positive effect will have 10 to 100 to 1000 times more marketing budget support than a similar exercise study. So when the evidence is emerging for physical activity benefits – see lead link to New York Times….magnify the headline fonts and the coverage volume by 10 to 100 to 1000 for a fair comparison with anticholinesterases. I’m reaching for my walking shoes and my dumbell!