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Exercising for the brain and the body

New research has demonstrated that exercise has a unique way of keeping the brain healthy by actually modifying the organ so that it is less susceptible to internal damage.

"Exercise allows the brain to rapidly produce chemicals that prevent damaging inflammation," said Professor Jean Harry, who led the study at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the United States. "This could help us develop a therapeutic approach for early intervention in preventing damage to the brain."

The findings have vast implications for warding off Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, as well as other neurodegenerative conditions. Overall, these effects seem to play a part in making the brain more resistant to most detrimental changes.

Dr. Ruth Barrientos observed that the study showed how exercise could protect "hippocampal neurons" crucial for memory and other cognitive functions. "Perhaps the greatest challenge with this line of research will not be more discoveries of compelling evidence of the anti-neuroinflammatory effects of exercise, but instead, getting humans to exercise voluntarily and regularly," she quipped.

In Del Webb communities, more than 80 percent of homeowners regularly make use of the state-of-the-art fitness facilities, outdoor tennis and bocce courts, among other amenities. The unique atmosphere of these communities makes exercising a fun and social experience. 

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