New Study Finds How Even Light Physical Activity Can Improve Cognitive Functioning

The many benefits of exercise are not lost on anyone. But did you know that even light physical activity, such as that done when working on home chores, can improve memory? Exercise or physical activity do not only show benefits for the body and the heart but for the brain as well.

On taking part in moderate daily physical activity, one can experience better cognitive functioning as well as improved memory. This casual physical activity done on a daily basis can add up and improve one’s brain’s working greatly.

A new study proves this benefit of physical activity on cognitive health. It dives into both – the benefits that exercise brings for the brain in the short-run as well as in the long-run. This study has been conducted by a team of researchers, led by Michelle Voss, from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. The purpose of the study is to also stress on this – that exercise doesn’t only come with physical benefits. It also holds merits for the brain.

What Does This Study Reveal?

This new study, which was presented at San Francisco’s Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s symposia this year, explained both the short as well as long term benefits that exercise provides for the brain. Participants of the study got the functional MRI scans that measured the activity levels of their brains done. These volunteers also took tests that analyzed their working memory.

They took evaluations after both – a single session of light to moderate intensity workout and following a fitness program that lasted for 12 weeks. Researchers found that the people who experienced improvement in the connectivity of the brain network and cognitive benefits also had positive impacts after the program.

The scientists of this study highlight the importance of staying physically active and are looking to further this study by gathering more participants willing to take part in a fitness program of 6 months to note the physiological benefits attained.

Exercise And Brain Health

Another recent study published in the Neurology journal and carried out by researchers from a Columbian university shows how exercise can improve executive functioning. Moreover, it has already been established that working out can reduce stress, anxiety, and the risks of developing depression since it boosts endorphins which are happy hormones.

Exercise also releasees endocannabinoids which take tension down and make one’s mood better. It improves cognitive functioning as well as lowers the risks of neurodegenerative diseases by increasing the generation of BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor.

Key Takeaway

Exercising comes with scores of benefits for not only physical health but cognitive functioning as well. Now a new study shows how even light to moderate physical activity can improve one’s memory as well as cognitive working. This study also digs into the long-term benefits of exercise on brain’s functionality. Researchers of this study are currently looking for participants for a longer study that is to evaluate the physiological effects of a 6-month training program.