Just walking can help improve your brain health significantly over time, a new study reports. And it is not just for the elderly. The study findings presented in 2018 at Experimental Biology and published by the Journal of Neurology, revealed that the foot-ground impact created when walking sends pressure waves through the arteries, ultimately leading to improved blood circulation and blood flow into the brain.
The study was done by researchers from the New Mexico Highlands University. In their report, the researchers say that an aerobic exercise such as walking improved brain health and cognitive functioning just like muscle and strength training. “New data strongly suggests that blood flow to the brain is very dynamic,” says researcher Ernest Greene. “Aerobic activities like walking can optimize brain function, as well as, the overall well-being during exercise.”
Previously, scientists weren’t really sure about how movement affected brain blood flow. This study involved 12 healthy young adult individuals who engaged in walking exercises three times per week for 6 months. The researchers used ultrasound to measure the internal carotid artery’s blood velocity waves, and the arterial diameters so they could determine blood flow into both brain hemispheres. They examined the effect of walking on brain blood flow. According to lifetoliveit.com, the footsteps you take while you walk, create pressure waves that boost the blood flow in your brain and therefore improve your brain function.
The results showed that walking is good for you because it can result in a significant increase in the amount of blood flowing to the brain. “This increase, however, is not as dramatic as with, say, running, but it is more notable than with biking which does not involve any foot-ground impact,” the study authors wrote. “The findings demonstrated significantly improved performance on standard battery of neuro-cognitive tests of executive brain function.”
The study is backed up by previous findings
Some previous research on both simple aerobic exercises like walking and muscle and strength training support these new findings. For instance, this study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20890449) found that walking improved functional connectivity and brain networks. Lynn Cialdella, PhD., an associate professor at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine says that “walking may be among the simplest exercises, but it results in significant brain health gains.” He adds that brain health issues and conditions like dementia can be prevented by improved blood delivery to the brain. Simply walking regularly significantly improves this blood flow. Actually, there are numerous health benefits of walking and http://www.LifeToLiveIt.com gives a list of these short and long-term advantages.
In addition, Cialdella says that walking may increase the levels of BDNFs (brain-derived neurotropic factor), a critical protein in the human brain. “The BDNFs play a crucial role in the development and regeneration of within-cell communications in a human brain. If you can increase your BDNFs, then you are bound to improve your cognitive functions,” she explains.
Previous studies have pointed out some health benefits of walking. They include the following among others;
– Walking improves brain cell connectors.
Simple aerobic exercise like walking spark communications between neurons leading to improved brain health. Check out this study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20890449).
– It enhances creativity.
According to this research (http://news.stanford.edu/2014/04/24/walking-vs-sitting-042414/), this is especially the case when you are looking for a solution to some problem. Walking increases creative inspiration by up to 60%, the study findings report.
– Walking boosts your mood.
A report (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27100368) of three studies reveals that participants experienced improved mood while walking. The fitness magazine LifeToLiveIt also says that just 12 minutes of walking increased vigor, attentiveness, self-confidence, and joviality. More precisely, walking does not just help you with your weight loss goals but it plays a huge role in your overall mood as it gives you the so-called “feel-good” chemicals in the brain known as endorphins. After an exercise of walking, endorphins increase in your brain which subsequently gives you a sense of euphoria and joy.
– It improves your working memory.
In one study (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17405620802535666?journalCode=pedp20), participants who walked at their steady pace showed improved working memory.
Walk for half an hour daily, Three days a week
Just briskly move along for 30 minutes daily, 3 days a week, and you are sure to improve your brain health in the long run. You don’t require any equipment; just keep walking. You are not only going to improve your cognitive functioning, but you are going to keep away cardiovascular issues, obesity, among other health problems.
But of course, to stay healthy, don’t forget to make the right food choices. You can even enroll to a workout regimen to take your fitness a notch higher. There are several muscle and strength coupon codes online today; so you might want to take advantage of them.