How you can rejuvenate your brain with a simple daily habit

Exercising the body on a regular basis is essential to maintain an active physical form. But this is not all, because it also produces positive effects on mental health.Walking or moving around, rather than sitting, may be all it takes to help strengthen your brain.

“Intellectual stimulation, a healthy diet, physical activity and having an active social life were identified as potential protective factors in middle age, which can help maintain cognitive reserve in adult life,” neuroscientist Facundo told Infobae Manes, honorary president of the INECO Foundation for research in cognitive neuroscience and director of the Favaloro Foundation Neuroscience Institute.

One of the latest studies on physical activity carried out at the University of Georgia, in the United States, showed that exercising, without the need for it to be intensive, protects certain neuronal qualities that deteriorate due to aging, among which are the capacities cognitive . It is the first research that analyzes the interaction of exercise with neural networks and how they influence the functioning of the brain.

Study author Marissa Gogniat, a recent Ph.D. graduate in psychology from Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, pointed out that “it’s not a matter of getting as much physical exercise as possible, but rather a regular increase in the amount of exercise you do, which can be helpful for brain health and maintaining more independence as you age.”

The researchers measured the fitness and physical activity of 51 older adults. Their thinking skills were assessed using tests of cognitive functioning. while their brain function was evaluated through MRI.

The monitoring of physical activity was carried out using a device that measured the number of steps and the distance traveled. The researchers assessed physical fitness through a six-minute walk test, during which participants walked as fast as they could to cover as much distance as possible within the time limit. According to the authors of the research, published in Sport Sciences for Health , thisis the first study to examine how physical activity interacts with brain networks to affect brain function.

“The recommended thing is aerobic exercise that uses more oxygen, such as walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, cycling.” , advised Infobae , Norberto Debbag, sports doctor and cardiologist. In addition, he highlighted the importance of avoiding overloading and jumping, since the joints of the elderly are not always in the best conditions to support weight or shock. ” The intensity of physical work should be mild to moderate , the frequency can be daily or 3 times a week, suggesting starting with 20 minutes and progressing up to 60 minutes,” he explained.

Brain networks are in constant communication, but some are active at different times. The network that is active when the body is at rest, for example, turns off when a person starts trying to complete a task. At that point, another network is activated, the researchers explained. If this doesn’t happen, it’s a sign that the brain isn’t working as well as it should. This can affect the ability to perform basic daily functions, such as remembering important information or having self-control.

The study found that brain network functioning improves with physical activity . “It’s always been said that it’s good to exercise, but I think this is evidence that exercise can actually change your brain,” Gogniat said. “And that affects how you can function in your daily life,” she added.

The findings are“exciting because they give us some evidence that when people whose brain networks are not working optimally participate in physical activity we see an improvement in their executive function and independence”Gogniat said. “We are not saying that you need to radically change your life. Maybe just walking up the stairs on the way to work,” he added. “Get up and walk some more. That’s where you get the most benefit, not in crazy, high-intensity exercise,” he says.

These healthy habits will be reflected in the functioning of neural networks, which are essential to maintain memory and have self-control. That is why it is good to work on them during aging.

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