Get A Boost of Brain Power By Running

July 10, 2019

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We all know that exercise does a body good but one type of exercise has been shown to boost your brain power. Between strength training, intervals and plain old running, they found that running led to the biggest increase in the number of new brain cells. Researchers found that short bursts of exercise creates an increase in activity in the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with learning and memory. They discovered that when a specific gene in the brain is activated by brief spurts of exercise, it promotes small growths on neurons, which prime the brain for learning. Researchers say this is the first time that they have put different types of exercises head-to-head to compare their brain boosting power. Four test groups were split into a strength training rogram with free weights, interval training which alternated between running and walking, a sedinary control group and a running group.  Each performed evercise daily for 15 minutes over a 7 week period. After seven weeks, researchers took a look to see if there were any notable changes in their brains. They found that the weightlifting group, while stronger, had no change in neurogenesis in the brain, including the growth and development of new tissue. The group that practiced interval training had greater levels of neurogenesis than the sedentary group, but still far fewer than the runners. But the brains of the running group were teeming with new cells. Better yet, the distance they ran each day coincided with the number of new brain cells they developed. The study lends credence to the idea that sustained cardio exercise is the best way to keep your brain charged and churning. In other words, running is as good for your brain as it is for your body. 

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SOURCE: Mother Nature Network

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