Richard Stoneking.

According to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, most causes of diabetes can be prevented by moderate exercise and a healthy diet. No great surprise!

The real surprise is that 90% of peoples’ lives can be changed by healthy lifestyle changes. Healthy living can also reduce the risk of getting the disease by 58% among those already showing signs. As parents, you must set examples for your children.

If you exercise and are physically active, there is a strong likelihood that your children will follow your example. Just remember that the exercise or activity must be fun. If a sports or activity program is viewed as punitive, the child will not do it. A mean coach or a harsh high school physical education teacher can really turn kids away.

On a different note, did you know that exercise can boost brain power? A recent study showed that brain wave measurements taken after exercise showed an increase in the speed of the decision-making process. Specifically, brain activity was 35 milliseconds faster than before exercise.

In the study, twenty men and women, ages 18-24, ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill and then had their brain waves measured with an electroencephalogram after their heart rates returned to resting levels. The participants then took two tests, one more difficult than the other, and the results were measured against similar tests taken before exercising. Not only was the brain activity faster, but the participants also answered more accurately.

As the New Year is upon us, please consider a resolution to increase your physical activity. As experts in promoting optimal health and mobility, a physical therapist can guide you in developing an appropriate program with attainable goals. The fact is that if exercise was a pill, you likely would take it every day!

Ewing native Richard Stoneking has been a physical therapist since 1979 and in private practice in New Jersey since 1989. Stoneking brings a broad background of experience to his patients having worked in the home health, hospital acute care, and skilled nursing setting. To learn more, visit stonekingptwellness.com or call (609) 883-7528 to make an appointment.