Walking daily has sooo many benefits! As we've been discussing in the last few blog posts the benefits are incredible and each deserve their own focus. So, today we are talking about how walking can STRENGTHEN YOUR BRAIN!
Walking daily increases levels of the critical protein in the brain called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor).
"Greater BDNF in the brain supports structural remodeling and growth synapses after learning, which helps to improve cognitive function and make your brain more resilient" brainMD.com states.
Exercise can freshen and renovate our brains, potentially improving our ability to think and remember as we age, according to a new study of walking, dancing and brain health. Isn't that amazing!!
The study shows that white matter remodels itself when people become more physically active. In those who remain sedentary on the other hand, white matter tends to fray and shrink.
So what IS white matter in the brain and what does it do?
To make it simple (for all of us):
White matter is made up of a large network of nerve fibers (axons) in your brain that allows the exchange of information and communication between different areas of your brain.
The findings of this study, "underscore the dynamism of our brains and how they constantly transform themselves- for better and worse- in response to how we live and move."
What powerful testimonials of what walking (and many other forms of movement) can do for our brains. Our lifestyles really do make a difference!
All kinds of exercise can increase oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Walking is a consistent movement which keeps your heart rate up AND what's good for the heart is good for the brain!
Watching my mother fade from the effects of a horrible brain disease makes me often wonder if there is anything I can do to try and prevent, or at least slow down, something like that from happening to me. What incredible and useful research this study is for those of us seeking to strengthen the greatest asset we have... our working brains.
So, get out there and walk! It often makes for great conversation with friends, too, and is cheap and easy. All kinds of benefits from this brain changing activity. See you out there!