Is reduced brain health really inevitable for those who can't use their legs even with upper body exercises?
According to this article, mice that were prevented from using their hind legs lost 70% of their neural stem cells even though they could use their front legs. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180523080214.htm
People with polio, spinal cord injuries, or leg injuries may have little or no use of their legs but can often use their upper bodies. Think of them doing wheelchair based sports, handcycling, or weight lifting.
Would those activities prevent the loss of their neural stem cells? Is it possible that the loss of neural stem cells was caused by not burning enough calories?
Arms tend to be weaker than legs that means fewer calories can be burned. I imagine that 100W (considered an easy pace for many of us while walking) with our arms isn't easy to sustain for many of us.