The fact that running and jogging strengthen physical health has already been discussed in detail on ISPO.com. But a study by the Canadian University of Calgary has now found out that running also strengthens the brain. According to the study, published by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), regular running and aerobic workouts increase brain activity by 5.7 percent after just six months. Improvements in brain activity were observed regardless of age.
Marc Poulin, one of the authors of the study, said: "Even if you start an exercise program later in life, the benefit to your brain may be immense. Sure, aerobic exercise gets blood moving through your body. As our study found, it may also get blood moving to your brain, particularly in areas responsible for verbal fluency and executive functions.”
After six months of regular training on at least four days per week, the 206 study subjects (average age: 66 years) showed an improvement of 5.7 percent in cognitive processes when brain activity was tested. Cognitive processes are control processes that are mainly used when automated action is no longer sufficient. On average, an improvement in verbal fluency of 2.4 percent was found.
In addition, the blood flow to the brain increased by 2.8 percent. According to Poulin, the study showed, "that six months’ worth of vigorous exercise may pump blood to regions of the brain that specifically improve your verbal skills as well as memory and mental sharpness." Now the researchers are even hoping that their study may also be useful for future research into Alzheimer's and dementia.