The WHO 2019 guidelines recommend exercise as an intervention that can help reduce a person's risk of cognitive decline. Aerobic exercise, specifically, has been shown to have an even more positive effect than other forms of fitness, as previously mentioned. Here Darnel Fernandez, NaturalNews.com, reflects on the benefits of starting your morning with a great workout to improve your brain health:
“A healthy body and a healthy mind often go hand in hand. New research suggests that older adults can maintain good brain health by exercising early in the day.
This study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, found that morning exercises mitigate the impact of prolonged sitting on brain blood flow in overweight or obese older adults. This suggests that exercise should be part of one’s daily routine to help prevent the slowing down of brain blood circulation associated with aging.
“This is the first study to measure the combined effects of an exercise bout with active breaks in sitting on cerebral blood velocity in older adults,” said the lead researcher Michael Wheeler in a statement.
Get active early in the day
Previous research has established that excessive sitting can lead to a variety of health conditions, such as reducing blood flow throughout the body. A report from Harvard Medical School claimed that more sitting and less physical activity can lead to an increased risk of developing dementia. This study, however, aimed to measure the combined effects of exercise and sedentary behavior sessions on brain blood circulation.
For the first session, participants were asked to sit uninterrupted for eight hours. The second involved volunteers walking on a treadmill for 30 minutes at moderate intensity followed by 6.5 hours of sitting. Finally, the last session had participants do a routine similar to the previous session but with three minutes of light-intensity treadmill walking interrupting the sitting time every 30 minutes.
The team measured blood pressure, heart rate and blood flow to the middle cerebral artery (MCA) – one of the main arteries responsible for blood flow toward the uppermost section of the brain. These measurements were done before the participants sat in the morning and during long sitting periods.
The results showed that blood flow is at its peak during the beginning of the day. From morning until lunchtime, this blood flow saw a drop of about 20 percent when participants are exposed to excessive sitting. However, in both exercise trials, participants saw an increase in blood flow during the afternoon.”
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