Wednesday, December 11News That Matters

Editorial – February

‘A healthy mind resides in a healthy body or healthy mind leads to healthy body,’ both are correct. As both physical and mental strengths are interrelated or mutually dependent in normal circumstances. Strength is quality or degree of being strong. It is ability to do anything with involvement of physical and mental effort. Various factors responsible for the promotion of strength as noted in Charak Sharirasthana 6/13 have dealt with genetic and external factors. External factors include diets, exercise and environmental factors while genetic factors are related with inheritance of qualities.
Physical strength is usually measured in terms of density and strength of muscle and body mineral density (BMD). Research works have established the relationship of various pattern of skeletal muscle traits with heritability. However, specific genetic influences also bring the inter-individual trait variability.
An individual study identifies specific gene loci for muscle strength phenotypes. Even BMD is suggested under strong genetic control. A work published in Nature Communication on 12 july 2017 mentions sixteen genetic traits related with muscle strength. Many of variants are located near or within the genes which play important role in distinguished biological processes including communication to nervous system, shaping up of structure of muscle and in proper functioning of muscle. Mutations may enhance or decrease the muscle function. Researches have proved the positive aspects of mutations through physical activities. It means that options of improvement in genes is also present to increase the physical and mental levels of children and teens.
Forbes November 30, 2017 presented the researches highlighting the better academic performance of those children and teens who were involved in physical activities for about one hour. Physical activity increases endorphins, serotonin etc. These neurochemicals are related with reducing stress and better mental accomplishments. Relationship of gene-associated pathway of release of these neurochemicals also gets boost up from physical activities. Detailed studies in these regards are needed.

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