How Exercise Positively Impacts Our Brains

How Exercise Positively Impacts Our Brains

We emphasize the importance of regular physical activity every chance we get and new research continues to substantiate our beliefs. A study out of UC San Francisco found that when elderly individuals remained physically active, “their brains have more of a class of proteins that enhances the connections between neurons to maintain healthy cognition.” Interestingly, this cognitive enhancement remained true even in individuals whose brains at autopsy “were riddled with toxic proteins associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.” 

While the benefits of physical activities have been well established in mice trials, this study was the first to confirm it with human data. Why are these neurological connections so important? According to Kaitlin Casaletto, “Maintaining the integrity of these connections between neurons may be vital to fending off dementia, since the synapse is really the site where cognition happens. Physical activity – a readily available tool – may help boost this synaptic functioning.”