Fit Legs Are a Key to Our Brain Health, Science Says
Running is one of the most popular sports worldwide, statistics say. And weight concerns are usually the main reason people practice it. However, it poses another big bonus: leg exercises have a great effect on our brain health too.
We at Bright Side consider scientific discoveries vital and even practical for our everyday lives, so here are some proven reasons to start exercising right away.
It slows down brain aging.
Such research was carried out at King’s College London. The scientists tracked the health of more than 150 pairs of twin sisters aged between 43 and 73 years. And the results showed that the twin who had stronger legs at the start of the study had fewer brain changes associated with aging, which was measured after 10 years.
This was explained by the fact that exercise aimed specifically at the legs releases chemicals in the body that can boost elderly brains.
It increases healthy cells.
Research has shown that people who are unable to actively use their legs, like bed-ridden hospital patients or even astronauts on extended travel, have altered body chemistry. In contrast, when we use the legs, particularly in weight-bearing exercises, signals are sent to the brain that are vital for the production of healthy neural cells.
It improves the central nervous system’s functionality.
This study also revealed that when the body has difficulties producing new nerve cells because of poor leg activity, it can impact our nervous system. That’s because these cells are fundamental for us to handle stress and adapt to challenges in our lives. So exercising enough could have a very positive effect on our whole body.
It’s good for memory and learning.
Another study done at the University of British Columbia says that regular aerobic exercise may boost the size of the hippocampus, the area of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning. So activities like running, cycling, and brisk walking are highly recommended for people of all ages.
It affects metabolism.
Also, by reducing our exercise, we lower the amount of oxygen in our bodies. Which, as researchers say, alters our metabolism and impacts the genes that are responsible for releasing energy the body can then use. That’s why using our legs whenever possible is crucial for our health.
What kind of exercise do you practice to keep your legs fit? Have you noticed any of these effects on yourself?