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The Link between Exercise and the Brain


Exercise or physical activities are known to keep the body healthy and in shape; however, are you aware that exercise is also very helpful in enhancing the brain’s function?

Evidence from studies conducted show that exercise is actually good for the brain for a number of reasons. This includes lowering the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and decreasing brain aging process by about a decade. Today, scientists and researchers found evidence that exercise improves brain health.

Studies Provide Sufficient Proof on the Benefits of Exercise to the Brain

The British Journal of Sports Medicine help published a research review which involves examining 39 studies regarding exercise and cognitive abilities. The study involved people aged 50 and above. They were able to determine that aerobic exercise hemp improve resistance training and cognitive function. They later concluded that moderate to vigorous exercise of 45 minutes to one hour was sufficient for the brain.

The findings from the previous study were later supported by more studies. Joe Northey, a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise in Australia, conducted a study that stated they saw changes to the function and structure of some areas of the brain that were responsible for the memory function and complex mental tasks.

In another study, New Mexico Highlands University researchers found out that the impact from simple walking sends waves through the arteries that prompts the body to increase blood flow to the brain; thus, contributing to healthier brain function.

In an unpublished study conducted by Ernest Greene, a New Mexico Highlands University professor of for engineering and biology, ultrasounds were used to assess the arteries and the changes in cerebral blood flow. The study involved 12 young adults who are standing, running and walking. They came up with a result that physical activities give the brain more to work with.

Other Effects of Exercise to the Brain

More studies are being conducted to determine how fitness contributes to improve the brain. The study of blood flow contributed a lot in the process because it helps create new brain cells. Furthermore, the evidence of protein brain-derived neurotrophic factor helps repair and reduce brain degeneration.

Exercise is also known to be an effective mood booster because it triggers the release of feel-good chemicals and hormones such as endorphins. These hormones also help improve brain health. Meanwhile, a study conducted in 2015 stated that exercise may be helpful in preventing the symptoms of depression.

The kind of exercise performed deliver different effects to the human health, particularly in the growth of new neurons and blood vessels in the brain. But even without more studies to prove this, exercise, both aerobic and resistance training, is beneficial in improving the cognitive function be it for young adults or older people.

Keep your brain healthy by making sure that exercise becomes a part of your daily routine. Assess your everyday lifestyle and get started on the journey to health and wellness.


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