“As the number of older adults continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, there is a need to examine the neuroprotective effects of health and wellness factors that promote healthy aging.”
“Exercise interventions have been shown to impact cognitive function in aging, particularly executive function. Executive functions involve the integration of several cognitive processes including inhibitory control, working memory, set-shifting, and cognitive flexibility.”
“These results suggest that greater physical activity in later life is associated with greater functional connectivity [cognitive function] and provides evidence for the importance of physical activity in cognitively healthy older adults.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Exercise, more specifically movement of joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, fires movement receptors which in turn send signals which fire neurons in areas of the brain related not just to coordination of movement but also to executive functions.
The neural stimulation of the brain from movement via physical activity is an essential nutrient for healthy brain function as well as healthy neuromuscular function – the two are in an indissoluble union.
There is no such thing as the concept of healthy body – healthy mind, there is only a singular body-mind and what is required for the health of the unified body-mind is exactly the same as what is required for a healthy body or mind – it’s all a singular ecosystem.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
Any movement is better than none – this study showed that just getting more steps by getting up and walking around the house more, or walking more as part of your daily routine has significant benefits. The benefits are dose-responsive, meaning more is better but some is unequivocally better than none.
Gogniat, et al. (2022) Physical activity and fitness moderate the association between executive function and anti-correlated networks in the aging brain. Sport Sciences for Health, 2022; DOI: 10.1007/s11332-021-00887-9
Exercise Improves Brain Function and Reduces Loss of Cognitive Function with Aging
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