If you ever needed a valid reason among the many to exercise, you might be encouraged to know that participating in a regular exercise routine may prevent your brain from shrinking in older age. In a report published in the Neurology journal, researchers from the University of Edinburgh, who studied more than 600 people in their 70s, physical activity was associated with less brain atrophy. While physical fitness as you age will be important for keeping your mind sharp and decrease shrinkage there are also additional brain-boosting benefits to adopting a regular fitness plan.
Dartmouth College also released a study earlier this spring evaluating three separate groups of test subjects in which participants’ mental health, memory, and physical fitness were measured. Some participants exercised for four weeks and were tested on the final day. Another group exercised for four weeks, but did not exercise on test day. A third group had just one day of exercise, followed by the test. The study, done on men, found that the group that exercised daily had the benefit of a boost in the brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).Some participants exercised for four weeks and tested on the final day. Another group exercised for four weeks but did not exercise on test day. The third group had only one day of exercise and then were tested.
A study from the Karolinska Institute even found that elite soccer players, who live highly active lifestyles, demonstrated above-average cognitive abilities, evaluating probabilities, recognizing patterns and using information from peripheral vision.
Physical activity improves blood circulation, increased energy, sharper thinking and productivity. This concept isn’t necessarily a new idea, but a strong motivator for those still straddling the fence of incorporating a regular workout plan into their regular lifestyle.
Do you believe that your regular workout routine could be enhancing your brain function?