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Hidden Health Benefits of Exercise

December 9, 2008 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

We all know the most common health benefits associated with regular exercise: enhanced heart health, assistance with weight management, healthier circulation and better mood. But, I think you might be surprised by some of the revelations made in a recent New York Times column by Jane E. Brody.

Brain ExerciseIn her column, Brody interviewed Dr. Marilyn Moffat, a specialist in physical therapy at New York University.

Here are some of the highlights of that illuminating exchange.

Exercise was found to help:

+ COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – a progressive and often debilitating lung condition)

+ Congestive Heart Failure

+ Diabetes

+ Multiple Sclerosis

+ Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

+ Osteoporosis

+ Parkinson’s Disease

Pretty amazing, isn’t it? There’s very little having to do with good health that exercise doesn’t affect. This is becoming abundantly clear.

Tired? Try Exercise!

“I’m too tired to exercise”. Really? Want to know my solution to that little dilemma?


Here’s why:

Recent research from the University of Georgia shows that people who are chronically tired can decrease their fatigue by 65% and increase their energy levels by 20% if they simply participate in frequent, low intensity exercise. And here’s the best part. The people in the study only had to exercise on stationary bikes for twenty-minutes three times a week.

Heal Your Wounds!

New research from the University of Illinois may help to shatter yet another exercise myth. It appears that moderate intensity exercise may actually help our bodies heal wounds faster in two ways.

According to the lead researchers of the study, which was conducted on “old mice”, (1) exercise helped to lower excess inflammation. They also speculated that (2) improved circulation could have contributed to the quicker rate of healing in the mice that exercised.

K. Todd Keylock, a professor of kinesiology at Bowling Green State University, summarized the results by saying the following, “The key point of the study is that moderate exercise sped up how fast wounds heal in old mice”.

*** Disclaimer ***

Please allow me to make one thing very clear: Exercise isn’t appropriate in every recovery situation. Please consult with a health professional to determine what may or may not be best for you.

I hope these past few blogs will serve as a reminder to us all. We all need to make exercise a priority in our lives. I’ve already started exercising myself. I hope you’ll join me!

Be well!


Referenced Material:

Link – Jane E. Brody: The Unexpected Effects of Exercise

Link – Exercise Prevents Fatigue

Link – Exercise Promotes Wound Healing

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Exercise

12 Comments & Updates to “Hidden Health Benefits of Exercise”

  1. Kevin Says:

    I’m a good example of “too tired to exercise” :-(.

  2. JP Says:

    I hope you’ll take this column to heart, Kevin.

    Try exercising and see if it doesn’t surprise you by giving you more energy.

    One other benefit of exercise is improved sleep. An improvement in sleep can also help you feel less fatigued.

    I hope you’ll give it a shot!

    Be well!


  3. Kevin Says:

    I will, JP, thanks!

  4. G Paul Fanton Says:

    Great motivator! Savor the satisfaction and keep up your great work!


  5. JP Says:

    Thanks, G Paul.

    I appreciate your kind words.

    Be well!


  6. Glenn Fernandes Says:

    Exercising daily makes you feel fit and fine. There are many physical and mental benefits of doing exercise. You get a good sleep, you get less tired, less prone to diseases etc. Exercise helps in leading an energetic life.

  7. JP Says:

    I believe that’s true, Glenn. Exercise can very often increase energy – even though that may seem counterintuitive.

    Be well!


  8. Desmond Says:

    Nice post. If only more people would realize why some form of exercise is so important for a healthier life. So many benefits both physically and mentally. Keep up the good work.

  9. JP Says:

    Thanks, Desmond.

    Be well!


  10. Belen Tanghal Says:

    I hope I can do more walking this 2010 than I was able to last year. Walking did a lot for me in terms of weight maintenance and better sleep. I guess I should not hope but commit to walk more. I need it especially after the holidays. 🙂

  11. JP Says:

    You can do it, Belen! 🙂

    I think one of the keys is to make yourself a priority in your life. Sometimes “personal time” isn’t thought of are being essential because it’s considered “self-centered”. But I think that’s not accurate. If we take better care of ourselves (and set a better example for others) it inevitably ends up benefiting those around us.

    I’ll be exercising more in 2010. Please try and do the same! We can both make it work! 🙂

    Be well!


  12. JP Says:

    Update: Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation …


    J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Feb 19;12:10.

    The effects PCSO-524®, a patented marine oil lipid and omega-3 PUFA blend derived from the New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), on indirect markers of muscle damage and inflammation after muscle damaging exercise in untrained men: a randomized, placebo controlled trial.

    BACKGROUND: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of PCSO-524®, a marine oil lipid and n-3 LC PUFA blend, derived from New Zealand green- lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), on markers of muscle damage and inflammation following muscle damaging exercise in untrained men.

    METHODS: Thirty two untrained male subjects were randomly assigned to consume 1200 mg/d of PCSO- 524® (a green-lipped mussel oil blend) or placebo for 26 d prior to muscle damaging exercise (downhill running), and continued for 96 h following the muscle damaging exercise bout. Blood markers of muscle damage (skeletal muscle slow troponin I, sTnI; myoglobin, Mb; creatine kinase, CK), and inflammation (tumor necrosis factor, TNF-α), and functional measures of muscle damage (delayed onset muscle soreness, DOMS; pressure pain threshold, PPT; knee extensor joint range of motion, ROM; isometric torque, MVC) were assessed pre- supplementation (baseline), and multiple time points post-supplementation (before and after muscle damaging exercise). At baseline and 24 h following muscle damaging exercise peripheral fatigue was assessed via changes in potentiated quadriceps twitch force (∆Qtw,pot) from pre- to post-exhaustive cycling ergometer test in response to supra-maximal femoral nerve stimulation.

    RESULTS: Compared to placebo, supplementation with the green-lipped mussel oil blend significantly attenuated (p < 0.05) sTnI and TNF-α at 2, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h., Mb at 24, 48, 72, 96 h., and CK-MM at all-time points following muscle damaging exercise, significantly reduced (p < 0.05) DOMS at 72 and 96 h post-muscle damaging exercise, and resulted in significantly less strength loss (MVC) and provided a protective effect against joint ROM loss at 96 h post- muscle damaging exercise. At 24 h after muscle damaging exercise perceived pain was significantly greater (p < 0.05) compared to baseline in the placebo group only. Following muscle damaging exercise ∆Qtw,pot was significantly less (p < 0.05) on the green-lipped mussel oil blend compared to placebo. CONCLUSION: Supplementation with a marine oil lipid and n-3 LC PUFA blend (PCSO-524®), derived from the New Zealand green lipped mussel, may represent a useful therapeutic agent for attenuating muscle damage and inflammation following muscle damaging exercise. Be well! JP

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