Exercise– for Body and Spirit

Not to mention the release of happy hormones, our bodies react positively when we exercise moderately and regularly. Walking regularly for 40 minutes three times a week improves brain function and circuit connectivity, say University of Illinois researchers. Walking– rather than just stretching and toning — helped increase brain function of older adults in their study.  University of Illinois at Champaign study leader Art Kramer and colleagues looked at brain regions functioning together — especially the “default mode network” that dominates brain activity while passively observing or simply daydreaming. The study, published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, finds in healthy young brains, activity in the default mode network quickly diminishes when a person engages in an activity requiring focus on the external environment. The researchers also say default mode network connectivity significantly improved in the brains of the older walkers. Carrera_W UNR Campus 0009 by UNR PHOTOgraphy

“The higher the connectivity, the better the performance on some of these cognitive tasks, especially the ones we call executive control tasks — things like planning, scheduling, dealing with ambiguity, working memory and multitasking,” Kramer says in a statement.  Kramer and colleagues used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure brain activity in 32 adults, ages 18-35, as well as in 65 previously sedentary people age 59 to over 80 — before, as well as six and 12 months, after joining either a walking group or a stretching and toning group.  walking into golden world by aeostudio

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8 thoughts on “Exercise– for Body and Spirit

  1. Friends, other aerobic exercise (jogging, swimming) also improves brain function. To get the brain cells work properly, we must continuously supply of oxygen and glucose, and blood flow of oxygen and glucose to the brain is the only way. To increase cerebral blood flow is the basis for improving brain function, movement (by walking, running, swimming) is the role.

  2. Kathleen, not all adults play sports but everyone can get out there and do something physical. I recall another study where researchers found that regular regular, moderate exercise encourages the brain to grow more cells in the hippocampus. This improves people’s thinking, feelings and reactions.

  3. Absolutely, and I think you can add riding a bike and possibly doing yoga in it’s done continuously for 40 minutes at a brisk pace. There’s no doubt in my mind that regular aerobic exercise improves my thinking. Brain function and memory, attention and other cognitive functions are related to the level of the chemical substances.

  4. So often I’ve noticed that when I’m trying to figure something out, if I swim laps, I think about it. And then afterward, the magic happens. I’m more relaxed, can think calmly with inspiration, and a solution just comes.

  5. Pearl, thinking about what you said– with basketball’s dribble pass, the brain has to consider “the big world”. In a timely manner the brain judges the situation using eyes and coordinated the hands and body. My wife Heidi would agree with you about dance– it’s not only physical, but also the dancer has be into the mood, feeling the musica with the look.

  6. Bob, I hope both your wife Heidi and I can dance our way into old age! Wouldn’t that be nice? Of course we accept that some brain cell growth declines with age, but if we can promote the brain’s secretion of nerve growth with regular exercise, we’d be better off.

  7. Thank you, friends, for your posts. I wanted to add a little more about exercise and brain function. When walking, a person’s heart rate will increase 13%, and oxygen to the brain increases by at least 5%. Because this is going on during the entire time spent walking, long-term adherence promotes new brain cells, improve the brain’s memory and thinking ability.

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