From a young age, we are told that to live long, we need to follow a balanced diet and engage in routine physical exercise. But how many of us really follow that? We readily cave in to our cravings and we are quick to find excuses to skip our daily dose of exercise. However, take care or there will be consequences if we don’t fix this attitude of ours. Scientists are finding strong links between physical exercise and brain health.
From years, researchers have been conducting various studies to scientifically prove the link between routine physical exercise and its impact on brain health.
Recently, some studies have led scientists to believe that physical exercise may prevent dementia in old age. ‘Dementia’ is a broad term given to brain diseases that affect a person’s ability to think and remember things, to such an extent that it disrupts his/her daily life. It is a form of cognitive impairment. Some diseases that fall under dementia are Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
SMART – Sport and Metabolism in Older Persons study
The tests were conducted by a team of sports physicians and gerontologists at the Goethe University, Frankfurt to study the relationship between physical exercise and brain health. Around 60 participants with ages ranging from 65 and 85 were subjected to the tests. At the end of the tests, the team was convinced that regular physical exercise plays a huge role in regulating brain metabolism.
The study was termed as SMART – Sport and Metabolism in Older Persons. The brain metabolism was evaluated using MRT (Magnetic Resonance Tomography) and MRS (Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy). The fitness plans chosen were generally cardiopulmonary exercises. At the end of the test period, the brain structure, brain metabolism and physical fitness of the participants were evaluated and noted.
The essential macronutrient, Choline
Brain metabolism or brain health is assessed on the basis of the levels of choline. Although choline is not exactly a vitamin, it is a vital macronutrient that is responsible for the proper functioning of the liver, good brain health, coordinating muscle movement with the nervous system and for overall metabolism of the body. The human body synthesizes choline in the liver. A deficiency in choline in the body may lead to liver diseases and neurological disorders. An increased level of choline is very often a sign of the Alzheimer’s disease. A person suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease is prone to losing a large number of nerve cells, which in turn leads to increased levels of choline.
And the results were amazing
Yes, the tests conducted by the team showed positive results. In the training group, stable levels of choline were observed whereas in the control group, increased levels of choline were noted. Thus, it was concluded that regular physical exercise led to better brain metabolism. A significant improvement in physical fitness was also observed as a result of regular exercise.
The positive results of tests and experiments like this should motivate every individual to ensure that they take good care of their health. Sure, have your cheat days, but otherwise make sure you follow a balanced diet and develop a habit to engage yourself in some kind of physical exercise every day. Cultivate good thoughts and do well!