Spring weather, proper, seems to be gradually settling in. Finally! With that we are starting to see people getting active outside again. Walking, running, playing... and getting some of that natural vitamin D (bonus!).
Did you know that exercise not only benefits your heart, lungs, muscles and mental well being but also your brain?! It's true.
I've recently come across research showing the multiple benefits exercise has on the health and the functioning of our brains. Even by merely taking a walk to enjoy these spring-like days, we are also effectively bringing more oxygen and glucose to our brains. An increase in blood flow to our brains enhances energy production and waste removal. Cerebral blood vessels have been shown to grow in response to exercise.
In the elderly studies have shown a 20 minute walk improves memory, concentration, learning and abstract reasoning ability. (And cut risk of stroke by up to 57%)
The University of California studied 6,000 women over 8 years and found those who were in the "higher energy group" in regards to exercise, saw much less cognitive decline (a protective effect as much as 40%) as the women aged.
Other recent research is showing that no matter what your age, getting that heart pumping with exercise also helps bring an older brain "back to life". New synapses are made, brain function and protection are increased and you do your body a world of good. Head to toe!
Remember to check with your family doctor before undertaking any new exercise program. AND while you're at it, book a massage to help keep it all moving (and recovering) well.
Now FLEX THAT HEAD!