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Walk your Way to a Better Brain

July 4, 2017

 

Today we find people do physical exercise less and less as they age. Study after study have reported the benefits of exercise on keeping your brain sharp.

A 6-month study – reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, performed at the University of British ColumbiaVancouverBritish Columbia, Canada -on the benefits of walking with people with some cognitive impairment caused by vascular impairment; know as VCI (Vascular Cognitive Impairment). VCI is caused when the blood vessels in the body are damaged by some damaging event in the body; such as a heart attack. VCI is the second most common type of cognitive dysfunction.

The Participants were divided into two groups The first walked three times a week for one hour each, the second group maintained their normal schedule (they did not walk).

Participants completed functional MRI (fMRI) for a beginning baseline and at the end of the trail. During the fMRI sessions, behavioral performance on the Eriksen flanker task and task-evoked neural activity were assessed.

Results

The walking group showed significant improvements in their cognitive abilities as opposed to the control group, which did not walk.

Study’s senior author Terea Liu-Ambrose, a researcher with the Aging, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, added, the physical activity further reduces one’s risk of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes (type II), and high cholesterol. Developing these conditions results in a compromised bloodflow in the vein, and can have negative impact on the brain. The brain needs a healthy flow of blood to deliver the necessary nutrients and oxygen to its tissues.“ – sc.com

My Suggestion

Start walking! Of course, check with your doctor first. Walk as fast as possible. High intensity exercise seems to be a factor in good mental health.

 

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