Orthopedic professionals such as physicians and physical therapists often refer to the human body’s kinetic chain – the notion that all bones, joints and “links” are connected, and that movement in one area can affect function in all areas.

While not officially part of the kinetic chain, it turns out the human brain is affected by (and can benefit from) bodily movement and exercise, as well.

The evidence connecting the body and the mind was so strong, in fact, that in late December of 2017, the American Academy of Neurology issued new guidelines suggesting that exercising twice a week may improve thinking and memory in people with mild cognitive impairment.

“Regular physical exercise has long been shown to have heart health benefits, and now we can say exercise may help improve memory for people with mild cognitive impairment,” said Ronald Petersen, M.C., Ph.D., director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the Mayo Clinic. “What’s good for your heart can be good for your brain.”

Exercise may also slow down the rate at which a person progresses from mild cognitive impairment to more serious conditions, such as dementia, said authors of the new guidelines.

“If we can push [cognitive impairment] back two, three, five years, that’s a big deals,” Petersen added.

Across the world, about 6 percent of people in their 60s experience mild cognitive impairment, or mental impairment that exceeds that of normal aging. The number jumps to above 37 percent for people 85 and older.

But regular exercise, said Joe Northey, a researcher from the Research Institute for Sports and Exercise, may improve these numbers.

“Even if you are doing moderate exercise only once or twice a week, there are still improvements in cognitive function, but the improvements were better the more exercise was done,” said Northey who, in 2017, studied how the amount of one’s exercise can affect brain function.

According to the Mayo Clinic, adults who regularly engage in moderate aerobic exercise five to six times each week can reduce their risk of mild cognitive impairments (memory loss and comprehension) by up to 32 percent. They attribute these benefits to increased blood flow to the brain.

In addition to a boost in memory, physical exercise also improves mental function by boosting mood, helping with sleep, and reducing stress and anxiety.

“The links between depression, anxiety and exercise aren’t entirely clear — but working out and other forms of physical activity can definitely ease symptoms of depression or anxiety and make you feel better,” the Mayo Clinic states on its website. “Exercise may also help keep depression and anxiety from coming back once you’re feeling better.”

A physical therapist is professionally trained to assess and treat people who are dealing with pain, injury, physical deficiencies and other issues that make it difficult for them move or exercise regularly. If a physical roadblock is keeping you from striving toward both a sound body and mind, a physical therapist can help put you on path toward improved health and happiness.

Move Strong Physical Therapy’s Winter/Travel Policy

We are excited to begin to treat patients again beginning the week of Nov 29th. Although the community center, in which we are located, will remain closed in accordance with our State’s COVID safety measures, we will be reopening. 

We ask that you follow the safety policy put forth to continue to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible and to be in accordance with the CDC’s recommendations. If you have traveled out of state by any means, or have traveled by bus or air to any destination, or attended a large gathering in excess of Oregon’s guidance, please refrain from attending physical therapy for 10 symptom-free days prior to resuming your treatment. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html

Because the building will be closed, we ask that you arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment, and call our clinic at 503-451-3750 for our reception to let you in the front door. Expect that your temperature will be taken and screening questions asked at that time. We continue to require that all people in the building wear a mask at all times and observe all marked building foot traffic routes. All aquatic therapy appointments remain canceled until the freeze is lifted for Multnomah County.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience during this trying time for everyone.  Your diligence allows us to stay open and continue to treat all patients in a safe environment. 

-Move Strong Physical Therapy Staff