Your Brain is An Exercise Junkie

Exploring Intensity

Your Brain is An Exercise Junkie

Exercise is one of the best ways to help your brain operate at full capacity. But much like the other recent study that found muscles need to be constantly used or else all the work goes down the drain, a new study shows that the effects of exercise on your brain may only last if you are consistently exercising.

Exercise increases cognitive abilities and memory — proven in numerous studies — but there have been questions about how much is required and how long the impact lasts.

So researchers gathered together 12 older, competitive runners who, even though they were ages 50-80, they still ran an incredible amount every week — about 35 miles.

The runners were given a battery of tests, both for cognitive abilities and other physical aspects of their brains, including how much blood flowed to the brain, which is considered a big factor in how well they perform.

Then, these marathon runners were told to park it for 10 days. Even though they would have run over 50 miles in that time, they apparently figured out a way to be lazy like so many other people. Then they went back in for the same tests, and the results were not pretty.

But the blood flowing to their brains was significantly decreased, showing a high potential for some decline maybe further down the road. But it wasn’t all bad news — their cognitive tests didn’t seem to change at all.

Now, maybe science is all wrong about the blood flow being necessary. And as the scientists note, these are crazy athletes, where the decline in our exercise may show a much less stark difference.

Looking at how blood flow and exercise are related, we think it’s best to help your brain by continuing to hit up your favorite gyms and workouts.

-Shane M.