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Exercise can help keep the brain sharp, research suggests (stock)
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Exercise can help keep the brain sharp, research suggests.

German scientists analyzed the fitness and MRI scans of more than 1,200 young, healthy adults.

They discovered that those who were able to walk furthest have a better & # 39; structural integrity & # 39; had in the white matter of their brains, suggesting superior nerve transfer.

The strongest participants also scored higher on memory, reasoning and & # 39; sharpness & # 39; tests, the study by the University of M√ľnster showed.

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Exercise has shown that it increases blood flow and therefore oxygen to the brain.

Exercise can help keep the brain sharp, research suggests (stock)

Exercise can help keep the brain sharp, research suggests (stock)

Professor Peter Falkai of the Munich Center for Neurosciences wrote in a commentary: & # 39; This is an important study that demonstrates a robust correlation between physical health and cognitive functioning in a large cohort of healthy, young adults.

& # 39; This was supported by changes in the status of the white matter in the brain that support the idea that better macro connectivity is related to better functioning of the brain.

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& # 39; It emphasizes the importance of physical activity in all stages of life and as recent evidence suggests, one can begin to improve physical health even later in life, even if one has never exercised before.

& # 39; However, these findings need to be repeated in longitudinal studies and translated for use in mental disorders & # 39 ;.

The relationship between physical fitness and & # 39; brain physiology & # 39; has received much attention in recent years, the researchers wrote in the journal Scientific Reports.

It has been shown that staying active protects against dementia, stress and depression, but it is unclear why exactly this happens.

A better understanding could enable doctors to identify & # 39; neuropsychiatric disorders & # 39; the researchers wrote.

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For more information, they analyzed the brain scans of 1,206 healthy volunteers who participated in the Human Connectome projects.

The participants, who had an average age of 28, underwent MRI scans for scientific research.

& # 39; The great strength of this work is the size of the database & # 39 ;, said lead author Dr. Jonathan Repple.

& # 39; Normally a sample of 30 is pretty good if you're dealing with MRI work, but due to the existence of this large MRI database we were able to eliminate potentially misleading factors and significantly strengthen the analysis. & # 39 ;

These & # 39; misleading factors & # 39; can be weight, blood sugar levels, age and education, all of which can affect brain health.

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The volunteers were also asked to walk as far as possible in two minutes, recording their distance.

Cognitive tests determined participants' memories, reasoning skills, & # 39; sharpness & # 39; and judgment.

Results suggested that the strongest volunteers had the healthiest brains and strongest cognitive skills.

"This opens up the possibility that increasing fitness levels can lead to improved cognitive ability, such as memory and problem solving, as well as improved structural changes in the brain," the researchers wrote.

Cognitive performance was worse among the less fit volunteers, despite the fact that they were still young and otherwise healthy.

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& # 39; We were surprised to see that even in a young population, cognitive performance decreases as fitness levels decrease, & # 39; said Dr. Repple.

& # 39; We knew how this might be important in an elderly population that is not necessarily in good health, but it is surprising to see this happen to 30-year-olds.

& # 39; This makes us believe that a basic level of fitness appears to be a preventable risk factor for brain health. & # 39;

The researchers hope one day to investigate whether the brain structure of an unsuitable person changes when it becomes active.

& # 39; This type of research raises an important question, & # 39; said Dr. Repple.

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& # 39; We see that fitter people have better brain health, so we must now ask ourselves if people make fitter improve their brain health.

& # 39; Figuring this out is our next step. There are some tests that point in that direction, but if we can prove this with such a large database, this would be very important. & # 39;

HOW MANY EXERCISE SHOULD YOU DO?

To stay healthy, adults from 19 to 64 must try to be active on a daily basis and must do the following:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • 75 minutes of powerful aerobic activity such as running or a game of tennis every week and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week – for example 2 x 30 minutes of running plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equals 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)
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A good rule is that 1 minute vigorous activity offers the same health benefits as 2 minute moderate activity.

One way to do your recommended 150 minute weekly physical activity is to do 30 minutes on 5 days each week.

All adults must also sit for long periods with mild activity ending.

Source: NHS

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