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Brain Health & Exercise

Brain health is your mind’s ability and capacity to learn, remember, concentrate and keep active. A healthy brain regularly manages logic, perspective, and information processing. As we age, our brain’s cognitive functioning diminishes and these processes slow down. Fortunately, exercise can play a huge role in not just slowing this process down, but can actually improve brain health.

How Exercise Improves Brain Health

Long-term exercise and high levels of cardiovascular fitness are both associated with increased size of the hippocampus, striatum, and prefrontal cortex– an indication that physical activity promotes the growth of new neurons throughout the human brain. The greater your fitness level, the better you are at learning and remembering information. This is especially true if the task being performed depends on the prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain is involved in executive functions including attention, short-term memory, problem-solving and planning. Additionally, physical activity has been proven to help stave off cognitive decline as well as improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

 

Brain Health and Exercise- What Exercise is Best?

Research has shown reaction time improvements following bouts of both continuous aerobic exercise (such as 20 minutes of jogging) and high-intensity interval training. Brain health and cognitive functioning can benefit from either style of exercise.

Training Your Body and Brain

Contributed by Julia C. Basso, PhD, Post-doctoral Research Associate at the Center for Neural Science and New York University Training Your Body and Brain Many different forms of exercise exist.  At the gym, we are given options to use the treadmill, stationary bicycle, Stairmaster, elliptical or participate in a yoga, Zumba or spin class.  We are

Obesity & Dopamine Dysfunction

Julia C. Basso, PhD Obesity is a major problem worldwide.  In the United States, more than 66% of adults are overweight, with 1 out of every 3 being considered obese (National Institutes of Health).  Obesity is determined based on a person’s Body Mass Index or BMI.  BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in

Dancing Helps Heal Individuals With Parkinson’s Disease

Julia C. Basso, PhD Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by problems of movement.  Though the disease normally manifests after the age of 60, in rare circumstances, the disease may develop earlier (known as early-onset PD).  PD results from loss of dopamine cells in a region of the brain called the

A Conversation Between Dance And Neuroscience

Julia C. Basso, PhD Dance and neuroscience may seem like two distinct fields, but Jody Oberfelder, director, choreographer, and filmmaker, knows that they intersect in intricate ways.  Her recent work, The Brain Piece, just had its world premiere at New York Live Arts from June 28th to July 1st.   She notes that, “The Brain Piece

The Surprising Benefits of Meditation

Julia C. Basso, PhD Using Meditation to Enhance Attention, Emotional Regulation, and Self-Awareness Here at fasttwitchgrandma.com, we are a group of people who love to exercise and are interested in the beneficial effects of exercise on the brain and body.  Most of us, however, cannot (and do not want to) devote our entire day to

NEWS RELEASE: Can A Single Exercise Session Benefit Your Brain?

Julia C. Basso (Forever Fit Science contributor) and Wendy A. Suzuki Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, NY, USA NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Abstract. A significant body of work has investigated the effects of acute exercise, defined as a single bout of physical activity, on mood and cognitive functions in humans.

Exercise-Induced Increases in Brain Size

Julia Basso - PhD Carbon dating in the human brain:  Implications for exercise-induced increases in brain size        Do you ever wonder why scientists use animal models?  Are you skeptical of findings in rodents and find it difficult to understand the importance of these discoveries for humans?  If so, that is a

4 Exercises to Alleviate Headaches

Ryan Cross, B.A. Hons (Kin), MScPT, FCAMPT Registered Physiotherapist in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada Headaches are a fact of life. Whether it’s the kids who won’t be quiet, or the relentless pounding after a night out, we have all encountered the annoying headache. The causes of some headaches are obvious; however, sometimes it might be difficult

Mental Fatigue Can Affect Your Workout

Catherine O'Brien There is a wealth of research that demonstrates the positive effects of exercise on physical, mental and emotional life domains. In this way, exercise improves our ability to: Cope with subsequent stressful events Helps us maintain a positive mood Can increase performance on cognitively demanding tasks Research in the field of sports

Exercise and Brain Inflammation

Julia Basso - PhD The post I wrote last week talked about the exciting connection between exercise and the immune system.  I specifically focused on one immune factor, known as interleukin-6 (IL-6), that not only serves immune functions but also acts to enhance metabolic processes, like burning fats and sugars.  Because exercise affects our immune

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