An active lifestyle helps in getting older gracefully. Regular workouts stimulate your brain to release powerful endorphins, which energize your spirit, body, and mind.
Additionally, exercise supports other treatments or efforts you may be taking to manage anxiety or depression. Exercise increases the protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in the brain. Even a brisk 30-minute walk can stimulate the natural boost of the chemical, acting in much the same way as antidepressant medications.
How Staying Active Can Benefit the Brain As We Age
Research shows that physical exercise facilitates the brain’s hippocampus. Additionally, it increases memory and learning in both humans and mice.
Scientific studies using lab mice linked these results to the development and maturation of vital neurons in the brain. Scientists have also started unraveling the molecular systems which connect physical exercise to these cognitive advantages.
While many scientists and health enthusiasts believe in a strong correlation between exercise and brain benefits, a heap of unanswered questions and issues still remain. Scientists continue to isolate specific factors linking physical activity to a lowered risk of dementia. Studies are still being conducted to test for any direct correlation between physical exercise and diseases related to dementia, such as Alzheimer’s.
An impressive amount of scientific studies suggest that staying fit and active throughout life reduces memory issues.
Evidence supports the notion of physical exercise as a defense against harm to brain cells. A 2019 study published in Science journal provides several new clues. Lab mice exhibiting signs of a hereditary type of Alzheimer’s disorder were tested using various treatments to analyze the activity of different brain cells. The lab rats showed some promising signs that exercise could help stop memory decline.
So, might we someday bottle the consequences of physical exercise to take care of Alzheimer’s? And if this is found to be the case, just what would be contained in that bottle?
Here is a rundown of what we recognize, and what is still debatable.
Studies of a Thousand Swedish Females
An additional set of studies tracked a thousand Swedish females for forty years. In those categorized as having optimal cardiovascular health at the beginning of the study, the onset of dementia was postponed by approximately 9.5 years compared to subjects with mid-level cardiovascular health. Researchers assessed several factors, including the optimum workload each subject was able to handle on a stationary cycle before exhaustion.
Exercise and Your Brain’s Processing Speed
A study published in Neurology: Clinical Practice found that exercise enhanced processing speed and executive function. These findings were particularly encouraging as those two skillsets are typically the first to decline with age.
Exercise enhanced thinking ability, but had little impact on memory.
Exercise, Cognition, and Aging
The Neurology: Clinical Practice study focused on an extensive review of detailed medical databases. The databases contained test results of the impact of exercise on cognition, in subjects with the average age of 73. Furthermore, scientific studies indicate that exercise works as a natural depression and anxiety treatment.
As we age, it is increasingly vital to eliminate depression and anxiety issues.
Best Types of Exercise for Anti-Aging Effects
Many forms of exercise can be beneficial, including yoga, Tai chi, or resistance, and strength training. Any combination of these exercises can halt the clock of brain aging.
Keep in mind that the brain benefits from physical exercise and exertion, not just physical activity. Merely taking a leisurely stroll through the mall will not be as effective as a moderately intense workout. Consider brisk-walking rather than a leisurely stroll to make the most out of your trip to the mall.