Exercise not only makes you healthier and happier, it also makes you smarter, says new research. An up-and-coming field of neuroscientific research has linked smartness to your regular routine of cardio. The neuroscience researchers have found that there is more to exercise that just improving your blood circulation. It helps in expression of a particular gene that floods your brain with brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Mental sharpness, ability to learn and memorise are aided by the BDNF protein.
The study was carried out in Dartmouth College in USA by lead researcher Michael Hopkins and his team. The team divided the participants in four groups before giving them a memory test and conducting a mental health survey. One of the groups exercised daily, another exercised daily but not on the day of test and survey, third group whose participants exercised only on the day of their test and survey, and the last group who remained sedentary.
The conclusion of the research by Hopkins and his team was that only the group that exercised throughout, including on the day of the test and survey, experienced a boost in BDNF. The researchers clarified that only moderate exercises such as walking were performed by the participants, and there was no vigorous workout schedule that they went through. They said that for deriving mental health benefits out of exercise, it is important that you do not exert your full might when working out. You just need to move all of your body for more than half the days in a week.
The positive effect of exercise on mental health was also confirmed by a research in Canada. Moderate strength training in women aged 70 odd for six months slowed down the aggravation of dementia. And in young men and women, the result of exercise was that they became sharper, mentally faster and smarter. This corroborates the findings of the Dartmouth College research.
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