Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Exercise: better for your brain than your body?

I don’t like this picture, but is visually makes the point of a really good article that I just read by Julie Deardorff of the Chicago Tribune: http://www.philly.com/philly/health/sportsmedicine/Exercise_helps_the_body_but_the_brain_may_benefit_the_most.html#yfdOOJkrfWCMPKK5.01

The point being that while exercise helps the body (duh!) it just might help your brain even more. Ms. Deardorff says it this way “Exercise tones the legs, builds bigger biceps and strengthens the heart. But of all the body parts that benefit from a good workout, the brain may be the big winner.”

Deardorff summarizes a bag of research findings by noting that “Scientists used to believe the mind-body connection was a one-way street: The brain helped build a better physique — or else it sabotaged attempts to get to the gym. But scores of studies suggest that what’s good for the body also is nurturing the old noodle. Exercise, it turns out, can help improve cognition in ways that differ from mental brain-training games.”

Wait! Where’s the science behind all this? 

Deardorff nails that saying “In the mid-1990s, Carl Cotman’s team at the University of California-Irvine first showed that exercise triggers the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, which helps support the growth of existing brain cells and the development of new ones.” Her article goes on to cite other studies and scientists.


1 comment:

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