Put Exercise at Top of “To Do List”
Do you w ant to protect your cognitive health as you age, improve your memory and brain function, then put exercise at the top of your “to do list”.
There is compelling evidence that shows exercise improves memory and cognition, and helps stave off dementia.
A Y 2010 study on primates revealed that regular exercise helped the monkeys learn new tasks 2X as quickly as non-exercising monkeys, and researchers believe this might hold true for people as well.
Other studies support these possibilities.
Strength training, and working your leg muscles in particular has been shown to have a particularly strong impact on brain function and memory. In one study, just 20 mins of leg strength exercises enhanced long-term memory by about 10%.
According to a recent study published in the journal Neurology, physical activity can slow brain aging by as much as 10 years.
Of the nearly 900 seniors who participated in the study, 90% engaged in light exercise such as yoga or walking, or none at all. The remaining 10 percent did medium-to-high intensity exercise.
As reported by CBS News: “Older adults who reported either light or no exercise at all experienced a cognitive decline equal to 10 more years of aging when compared to people who were moderate to intense exercisers.
‘The number of people over the age of 65 in the United States is on the rise, meaning the public health burden of thinking and memory problems will likely grow,’ study author Dr. Clinton B. Wright … said in a statement.
‘Our study showed that for older people, getting regular exercise may be protective, helping them keep their cognitive abilities longer.'”
Previous research has demonstrated that exercise promotes brain health by releasing hormones like brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) from the muscles, which encourage the growth of new brain cells. This process is known as neurogenesis or neuroplasticity.
Our brain’s memory center (hippocampus) is adaptable and capable of growing new cells throughout your entire lifetime, even into our 90’s, provided your lifestyle supports it.
In one study, exercising mice grew an average of 6,000 new brain cells in every cubic millimeter of hippocampal tissue sampled.
A year-long human study found that adults who exercised regularly enlarged their brain’s memory center by 1 to 2% per year, where typically the hippocampus tends to shrink with age.
Besides provoking beneficial hormone release, exercise also helps protect and improve brain function by:
- Improving and increasing blood flow to your brain
- Reducing damaging plaques in your brain, and altering the way these damaging proteins reside inside your brain, thereby slowing development of Alzheimer’s disease
- Increasing production of nerve-protecting compounds
- Lowering your levels of inflammatory cytokines associated with chronic inflammation and obesity14
- Improving development and survival of neurons
- Preventing brain shrinkage by preserving both gray and white matter in your frontal, temporal, and parietal cortexes.
- Stimulating production of a protein called FNDC, which triggers the production of BDNF. Note: In our brain, BDNF preserves existing brain cells, and activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, making the brain grow larger. BDNF also expresses itself in the neuromuscular system where it protects neuro-motors from degradation. This cross-connection helps explain why physical workouts have such a beneficial impact on your brain tissue. It literally helps prevent, and even reverse, brain decay as much as it prevents and reverses age-related muscle decay.
- Reducing impact of bone-morphogenetic protein (BMP), a protein that slows down creation of new neurons. Note: Higher levels of BMP makes your brain grow slower and less nimble. Exercise reduces the impact of BMP, so adult stem cells can keep our brain agile. Mice with access to running wheels reduced the BMP in their brains by half in just a week. They also had a notable increase in another brain protein called Noggin, which acts as a BMP antagonist. This interplay between BMP and Noggin is another powerful factor that helps ensure proliferation and youthfulness of neurons, facilitated by exercise.
And always eat Real Organic food.
So, Eat healthy, Be healthy, Exercise and Live lively
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