Current research supports cardiovascular exercise, like running and cycling, enhances neuroplasticity (the creation of new neural pathways) in regions of the brain that improve cognitive function. This study was conducted on aging adults.
These finding suggest that adhering to a cardiovascular exercise regime may reduce cognitive and neural decline in aging adults and slow age-related decline in the hippocampus, a region in the brain that processes short-term memory to long-term memory and processes spatial navigating. This is also the first region in the brain to be damaged by Alzheimer’s disease, (Hayes, Hayes, Cadden, & Verfaellie, 2013).
Research in a previous article (http://www.brainfacts.org/Across-the-Lifespan/Diet-and-Exercise/Articles/2013/Physical-Exercise-Beefs-Up-the-Brain ) showed that the hippocampus is an area known for neurogenesis (the growth of new cells) as a previous study shows that running and exercise also increases this new cell growth.
This cumulative research shows that cardiovascular exercise increases both neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, which is overall great for your brain.
Hayes, S., Hayes, J., Cadden, M., & Verfaellie, M. (2013). A review of cardiorespiratory fitness-related neuroplasticity in the aging brain. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. Volume 5(31). DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2013.00031 PMCID: PMC3709413.
This blog is intended to explore ideas, educate, entertain and expand our thinking. Some posts speak to current trends in the brain sciences, neural benefits of exercise & sports, emotional intelligence and personal growth.