Highlights:

  • Not using legs results in 20% fewer stem cells produced.
  • Protective cells didn’t mature when legs weren’t used.
  • Reduction in signals sent to the brain..

Don’t skip leg day! It seems like this phrase is said for those people who don’t pay much attention and exercise to their legs when they attend the gym. Well, it results that this phrase is also relevant for health issue which is related to leg exercising.

Presenting the study.

According to the study “Reduction of Movement in Neurological Diseases: Effects on Neural Stem Cells Characteristics” which was published in Frontiers in Neuroscience in May,  leg exercises, especially those consisting of weightlifting, are related to the improved production of healthy new neuron cells. The study is conducted by a group of professors and researchers from the University of Milan and University of Pavia in Italy.

Study’s procedure.

The research experiment has observed male mice aged 4 months, for twenty eight days. These mice were divided into two groups, one with deprivation of using rear legs and the other group was free to use them. This division is done in order for comparison reasons. Mice proceeded with feeding itself and also didn’t display stress levels.

Findings.

By monitoring the sub-ventricular zone of the brain, which is responsible for producing new nerves from neural stem cells, researchers conducted that the production of neural stem cells on the mice without the ability to move their legs decreased by seventy percent compared to the group of mice which were free to run. Furthermore, researchers also saw that cells who are responsible for protecting the nerve cells and also neurons weren’t being completely matured.

Not only that lack of physical exercise reduces the levels of oxygen in the blood but it also reduces the signals which the body sends to the brain. Specifically, when we do leg exercise, particularly weightlifting, the body sends information to the brain to produce more neural cells. Some of the new cells that are produced influence our endurance to depression.

We read from ScienceDaily the statement from Dr. Raffaella Adami, Milan University, Milan, as follows:

It is no accident that we are meant to be active: to walk, run, crouch to sit, and use our leg muscles to lift things.

Neurological health is not a one-way street with the brain telling the muscles ‘lift,’ ‘walk,’ and so on.