"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Getting closer to understanding how exercise keeps the brain young.

Most of us have experienced memory lapses ourselves. We find ourselves distracted trying to recollect a reputation during a conversation. We forget where we parked the automobile. We can't remember the items on the grocery short list that we left at home.

Although memory loss can occur at any age, it’s more common as we age. And there are fears that they’re early signs of Alzheimer's disease or one other sort of dementia. But for essentially the most part, our short-term memory difficulties are attributable to normal age-related changes within the brain. Our memory slows down and it’s a bit difficult to learn recent things quickly.

Many studies show that being physically energetic and exercising commonly in middle age and beyond might help delay and maybe even prevent decline in brain function. Because most of those studies have been primarily observational, they can’t show associations and can’t prove cause and effect.

So there isn’t a scientific evidence that exercise is the direct reason behind being mentally sharp. At least not yet.

New research shows how exercise might help the brain.

More recent studies show brain changes related to higher amounts of each day physical activity and better fitness levels.

Last month, a small but interesting study checked out changes in brain oxygenation and neural activity. These characteristics show an association with higher memory and brain function as people age.

Researchers identified 100 relatively healthy men and girls between the ages of 60 and 80 with various levels of physical activity. For one week, study participants wore an accelerometer to measure their amount of physical activity. They each had their oxygen consumption measured during a maximal exercise test. Oxygen consumption during peak exercise is an ordinary solution to assess cardiorespiratory fitness.

As expected, individuals with higher fitness levels were those who were more physically energetic through the week. They were also those who showed more positive oxygen-related changes and MRI findings with faster nerve processing within the brain. was reported in the outcomes of the study PLoS One.

Does the duration and intensity of exercise matter?

We don't have a precise exercise prescription to guide us on how long and hard we should always exercise. Based on the outcomes of this study and lots of others, as much as an hour of low-intensity activity per day appears to be higher for mental health than sitting on the couch.

You don't have to interact in high-performance athletics to guard and protect your brain. Just be more energetic through the day:

  • Get up and walk around every hour while awake
  • Walk more, drive less.
  • Take the steps as a substitute of the elevator.
  • Do gardening or yard work.

More ways to assist your brain stay young

Being physically energetic with a each day schedule for exercise is only one solution to higher brain function. Here's what else you’ll be able to do:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Find out if any of your medications are causing memory problems.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Reduce mental stress
  • Treat hypertension.