According to research by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UCLA Medical Center, regular physical activity (such as jogging, swimming or dancing) increases the dark tissue in the brain known as gray matter.
Gray matter contains neurons responsible for memory, speech, vision, hearing and impulse control.
“We know that exercise keeps your brain healthier,” says James Becker, Pitt professor of psychiatry, psychology and neurology. “But this is the first time that you can see the pathway from exercise to better brain health and better brain health to delaying the onset of a cognitive impairment.”
Findings also indicated that people with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment experienced less gray matter volume reduction over time if their exercise-associated calorie burn was high.
So next time you’re thinking of sleeping in instead of your morning run, remember the great things you’re doing both for physical and mental health. Now, and in the long run. Pretty amazing stuff.
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