Exercise doesn’t just work your body – it also benefits your brain.
Scientists have been drawing connections between the benefits of exercise on mental performance for decades. However, with the help of obliging mice, a recent study has demonstrated that exercise encourages the brain to resist neural shrinkage whilst improving mental dexterity.
Undertaken by the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois, the study gathered four groups of mice which were placed into separate living arrangements to illustrate the differences in cognitive function between the mice that exercised regularly and those that did not.
It was found that exercise stimulates beneficial proteins which work to convert brain stem cells into new neurons. The more neurons, the more brain power.
Even if the mice had an array of activities that helped boost brain growth in front of them, it’s was only enhance if they coupled these tasks with exercise.
Although mice may still have a little way to go to catch up with us on the evolution scale, scientists consider the results would be the same for humans.
Here are three reasons to get moving, now. Stay sharp:
A neuroscience study found that in memory tests people who exercised regularly for one month outperformed those who were sedentary.
An active body means an active mind. The studies showed that the beneficial proteins which are triggered by exercise encourage satellite cells to transform into new neurons whilst shielding the neuro-motors from degradation. This means that natural neural decay can be slowed as we age. Up your IQ:
Forty minutes of physical activity a day for three months significantly improved students’ IQ performance, in a Health Psychology
study. Whilst constant engagement is beneficial to maintain cognitive dexterity, exercise has been shown to improve nimbleness of the mind. That is, neurons which are created during exercise are called upon during unfamiliar tasks as they are able to multitask – in effect, they are more intelligent neurons. Boost your mood:
Aerobic exercise like jogging and cycling can reduce anxiety, stress and depression, according to a study in the journal Mental Health
and Physical Activity
Physical exercise affects the levels of serotonin in the brain and the release of endorphins; consequently it is directly linked to your mood and state of mind. A well-rounded fitness program is recommended as the body soon becomes accustomed to routines.
Continue challenging yourself with an assortment of high-intensity interval (anaerobic) training, strength training, core exercises and stretching. Words by Paige MacNamee
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