Not Getting Enough Exercise Is Even Worse Than You Thought

mbg Contributor By Emi Boscamp
mbg Contributor
Emi Boscamp is the former News Editor at mindbodygreen. She received a BA in English and minors in Spanish and Art History from Cornell University.

Exercise obviously controls our physical activity while we exercise, but according to a new study, it may tell us when to move and rest — even when we're not exercising.

Frank A.J.L. Scheer and his team gave young and old mice running wheels, then monitored their activity for a month.

The mice, regardless of age, soon developed a pattern of exercise, with distinct ups and downs. When the wheels were removed, the mice almost immediately reverted to aimless activity.

But when the researchers returned the wheels to the cages, the mice immediately went back to their structured, healthy patterns of movement.

The New York Times has more:

By prompting the release of a wide variety of biochemicals in the body and brain, [Dr. Scheer] suggested, exercise almost certainly affects the body’s internal clock mechanisms and therefore its circadian rhythms, especially those related to activity. Exercise seems to make the body better able to judge when and how much more it should be moving and when it should be at rest.

Though this study was short-term and didn’t involve humans, it still suggests that exercise can help us maintain a purposeful rhythm throughout our lives.

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