And exercise strengthens the brain, even if you start out as an adult-

From Christina Maroney

Brain strengthening also occurs in adults and prevents dementia. Exercise increases blood flow in the brain and nourishes memory areas

Physical activity can do wonders for the body. Playing sports tones your musclesAnd the corrects posture Do Weight loss And the improves mood. But sports can It also boosts the brain, making it more flexible and able to slow down degenerative phenomena. More and more studies are showing that the brains of those who exercise regularly are significantly different from those who don’t.

Benefits in school

Changes begin already in adolescence. Researchers at the University of Southern California, in a 2018 review of the scientific literature, found that Physically active boys between the ages of 15 and 18 tend to have a larger hippocampus (associated with memory and spatial navigation) and the middle frontal gyrus, both associated with the regulation of emotions and working memory. Over the years, numerous works have shown that structural changes of this kind lead to Better cognitive performance And the Better academic results. In fact, exercise increases blood flow to the brain by helping to supply areas of the brain, such as the hippocampus, that play an important role in memory and learning. Physical activity also facilitates the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, Bdnf, a protein containing nerve effect Preferably Formation of new neurons and synapses explain Gianfranco Beltrami, specialist in sports medicine, vice president of the Italian Federation of Sports Medicine. According to animal studies, not all physical activities will produce the same benefits. Swimming, running or cycling seems to stimulate better neuron production (and anti-aging of the brain) versus anaerobic activities such as weightlifting. It is suggested that stress from intense anaerobic exercise can impair neurogenesis in the hippocampus Myriam Nokia from the University
Jyvskyl in Finladia, about which I published a study a few months ago Journal of Physiology Compare sedentary mice, runners and weightlifters.

in adulthood

The good news is that brain improvement also extends into adulthood, when the brain tends to be less modifiable. Psychologists at the University of Pittsburgh recently published a review showing that regular exercise can help older adults retain episodic memory – events that happened in the past – with greater improvements between ages 55 and 68 compared to over 69 years old (so it’s best not to waste time). . Research published a year ago in the journal Aging by Rutgers University in New Jersey compared two groups of sedentary older adults: Those who trained for 20 weeks of cardio and dance showed significant improvements in hippocampal neuroplasticity (measured by fMRI). photography) which leads to a greater ability to apply old memories to new tasks and situations.


The effect of exercise on Alzheimer’s patients was also measured. An American study published in 2016 in PLUS ONE It concluded that volunteers who did 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week for 26 weeks performed better in the assessment of dementia than a control group that did only stretching and tone exercises.

Physiological changes

With age, the brain undergoes physiological changes: there is a decrease in its weight by about 5% per decade (which is more pronounced after the age of 70). The number of neurons decreases, Beltrami explains, and blood flow to the brain decreases, resulting in limited availability of certain neurotransmitters, such as Dopamine and SerotoninWhich led to a decrease in cognitive and motor performance and a decrease in the ability to form new neurons. However, it seems certain that physical activity, by improving blood circulation and thus tissue oxygenation in the brain, can prevent the development of dementia and other neurological diseases.

Jun 12, 2022 (change on Jun 12, 2022 | 19:23)

Leave a Comment