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Is exercise really good for the brain?

Is exercise really good for the brain?

Experts recommend above all to exercise outdoorsEuropean press

  • Physical activity is one of the best treatments to prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases

  • Experts feel that it is advisable to include the subject in schools so that students learn what a healthy brain is.

  • The environment in which you exercise may play as important a role in increasing cognitive function as the exercise itself.

In 1970, a group of doctors, midwives and health authorities in England, Wales and Scotland collected information on 17,000 babies born in the same week, the so-called same week. British cohort study (BCS70), and maintained follow-up throughout their childhood and adulthood. Between 2016 and 2018, nearly fifty years later, 4,481 participants (52% women) gave their consent to have the association between physical activity and cognition assessed through a survey.

Their results are collected in the article Exploring associations between daily movement behaviors and cognition in midlife: a meta-analysis of the 1970 British cohort study, It was published earlier this year in the journal Epidemiology and Community Health. The main conclusion of the study states that “performing at least 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous effort each day improves working memory in study participants, and has a greater impact on executive processes such as planning and organization.”

Global Health Organization (from) Physical activity is defined as any body movement produced by skeletal muscles, and the resulting energy expenditure. Physical activity refers to any action, including during leisure time, to travel to and from certain places, or as part of a person’s work. One of the body parts that benefits from this activity is the brain.

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Jesús Porta, a neurologist in San Carlos University Hospital, MadridHe confirms that physical activity improves our brain within a few hours of practicing it, “because of the release of a series of substances in the brain, called endorphins, which make us feel better psychologically and mentally.” This expert continues that if exercise is continued over time, “it is one of the best treatments available to prevent neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.”

because Exercise modifies our brain. “Its effects are achieved by increasing information processing capacity nervous cells, from increasing the number of neurons in the hippocampus, and from mitochondria, which improves their performance. The mechanisms rely on a series of molecules activated by exercise, which generate specific actions in the brain in the short term. “Continued exercise promotes these changes, through slightly different molecular mechanisms,” explains José Luis Trejo, CSIC researcher and head of the CSIC Research Centre. “Lifestyle and Cognition” Group of the Cajal Institute of Madrid.

There has long been talk about the importance of exercise such as walking, climbing stairs, swimming or dancing on the brain. But, in addition to this type of exercise, Recent studyA study by the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto and the University of Toronto in Canada found that “time spent physically active at home is positively associated with brain volume, specifically gray matter volume, in older adults.”

This research indicates that Benefits associated with household chores It can motivate older people to be more active by providing a less expensive, low-risk form of physical activity. “So today we can say that the exercise that will provide the most benefits in the long term is any exercise, while in the short term the exercise that produces benefits, such as the release of endorphins, is mainly exercise and some sports,” explains Porta.

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Anyway, what is important for Maintaining adequate physical and cognitive health means avoiding a sedentary lifestyle.. “Exercise, and gradually increase it based on each person’s current personal situation. If a person is inactive, he should start moving, even if it is just walking. When a person has his body accustomed to walking, he should start walking faster or running briskly. If you are already doing this, you can increase the training time and intensity of your workout or run. “So,” says the CSIC scientific researcher.

Awareness work about How important it is to stay active throughout our lives Which must start at an early age. “It is necessary to ingrain habits in people from the time they are young, as well as communication. On the one hand, it would be good if a subject was included in schools to teach students what it means to have a healthy brain and live a healthy life. On the other hand, continue to encourage methods “It is still interesting to talk about health until the message reaches the population,” comments the neurologist from San Carlos University Hospital. Additionally, keep in mind necessary to implement campaigns By the Ministry of Health, which affects the integration of healthy habits for the brain, “because once the disease appears, the return becomes very complicated,” says this expert.

It is best for physical activity to be done outdoors, as stated in the article Exercising is good for the mind, but exercising outdoors may be even better. Published in Scientific Reports. This research ensures that “the environment can play as important a role in increasing cognitive function as exercise itself and that time spent in natural outdoor environments produces increases in cognition similar to those that result from intense exercise.” .

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The investigation concluded that “Given Urbanization continues to grow And shifting towards an indoor lifestyle, our findings highlight the importance of spending time in nature, especially when exercising. Indeed, in a world where many people “go to the gym” before or after work or during lunchtime, our findings suggest that these people would be better served if they simply “go out.”