Physical activity is something that we basically correlate with our muscles, which is not wrong. However, it’s not only the muscles that get the benefit of exercising. So what else does? You’ll be surprised that it’s not the only brawn that gets to enjoy the advantages that physical fitness, but also the brain.
As we all grow older, we notice many changes going on, in our minds and with our body.
Over time, our brains lose their heft, there’s less fluidity in our joints, making it a bit more difficult to move around with ease. Our health is very important and needs work everyday to keep it in control.
New findings in the journal Neurology along with previous studies show that staying physically active not only keeps our bodies’ healthy, but it keeps us mentally strong and maximizes life to the fullest.
Physically active plays an important role in keeping our bodies and mind in shape. Our bodies need exercise. Keep the movements going and it will help the brain at the same time.
Spot on MRIs as many individuals age, small areas of damage to their brains as white matter hyperintensities. For instance, higher levels of damage have been linked to problems with speech and movement, alike. Yet these new findings show that people who keep up their physical fitness routine do not lose the majority of their movement abilities, even if they have high levels of brain damage.
“These results underscore the importance of efforts to encourage a more active lifestyle in older people to prevent movement problems, which is a major public health challenge. Physical activity may create a ‘reserve’ that protects motor abilities against the effects of age-related brain damage,” said by Debra A. Fleischman, PhD, author of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.
For the study, researchers had 167 people who were at average age of 80, whose movement were monitored on their wrists for an average of 11 days to measure both exercise and non-exercise activities.
Researchers took 11 tests on movement activities and MRI scans as sample to determine the amount of white matter hyperintensities in the brain.
Compared to those at the 50th percent in activity level measured using the movement monitors, those in the top 10 percent had activity equal to walking at 2.5 mph for an additional 1.5 hours each day.
Findings showed that for participants in the top 10 percent with greater amounts of brain damage, their movement scores were not affected. Therefore, a higher activity level with greater brain damage was not associated with lower scores.
However, the opposite was true for those at the 50th percent activity level. And the results remained the same after taking adjustments for other factors, including body mass index (BMI), depression and vascular disease.
“Virtually everything about Alzheimer’s and other dementia appears to be mitigated by physical exercise,” he concluded. “I think that this study serves to make that case even more compelling.”
Exercise increased blood flow which also benefits the brain, allowing it to almost function better. As a result, we tend to feel more focused after a workout. Furthermore, exercising regularly will promote the growth of new brain cells that strengthen and renew not only your body but also your brain.