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Dementia with Lewy Body and Parkinson's Disease PatientsPatient, Family, and Clinician Working Together for Better Outcomes$
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J. Eric Ahlskog

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199977567

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199977567.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 June 2021

Benefits of Regular Exercise: Disease-Slowing?

Benefits of Regular Exercise: Disease-Slowing?

20 Benefits of Regular Exercise: Disease-Slowing?
Dementia with Lewy Body and Parkinson's Disease Patients

J. Eric Ahlskog

Oxford University Press

Our culture has seen a generational shift in activity levels. In the 1950s everyone walked. How do I know? I grew up in the 1950s. Cars were typically reserved for day trips or vacations, except for people living in the country. Garages had one stall. Shopping malls had not proliferated and people walked to stores; children did not take buses to school, except for farm kids. Snow was removed with shovels, and grass was cut with push mowers. In a half-century, this scene has changed and we have adopted a sedentary lifestyle. Further contributing to this lifestyle is the proliferation of video games, multichannel TVs with remote controls, and computers. Blue collar work is increasingly done overseas. A sedentary culture should favor those with DLB or PDD, right? Lewy-related parkinsonism is physically challenging. With our cultural change, there is no longer a need to get up from the chair and walk very far. In fact, a lift chair with a motor will make it easy to stand. Ostensibly, this is all good. However, there is a dark side to this scenario, which is the focus of this chapter. As you have probably already surmised, we are going to enlarge on that old adage “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” It turns out that there is much truth in that statement, documented in scientific and medical journals. Exercising is easy when one is young and energetic, but it becomes increasingly difficult in middle age; it is downright hard during senior years, even with no neurologic or orthopedic conditions. Excuses and alternatives can easily sidetrack the best of intentions. Anything this difficult needs a compelling rationale. This chapter will summarize the scientific evidence suggesting that vigorous exercise has a biological effect on the brain that may well counter neurodegeneration and brain aging. The term exercise is used in a variety of ways. In this chapter, the focus is on aerobic exercise, which will also be referred to as vigorous exercise. This is exercise sufficient to induce sweating and raise the heart rate.

Keywords:   aerobic exercise, brain imaging, brain volume, exercise influences on, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), stroke

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