If there is one thing that we can all learn from all of the different health and wellness exercise sources out there is that exercise is always a common denominator. Everyone promotes it and everyone is an advocate for living an active life. It is good for the physical body, it is good for the mental body, and more specifically, it is great for preventing heart disease to keeping depression at bay. But do you know how exercise keeps your brain healthy?
According to a new review of research published in the journal NeuroImage, regular exercise is excellent at preventing the brain from shrinking. Exercise protects the brain against cognitive decline as we age.
The head researcher, Joseph Firth, states that after age 40 even the healthiest brains begin to decline by 5 percent per decade. It declines because of a lack of a chemical called BDNF, according to this research exercise can prevent that.
What is BDNF?
BDNF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and is a gene that provides instructions for making a protein found in the brain and spinal cord. This protein promotes the survival of nerve cells (neurons) by playing a role in the growth, maturation (differentiation), and maintenance of these cells. In the brain, the BDNF protein is active at the connections between nerve cells (synapses), where cell-to-cell communication occurs. –Genetics Home Reference
Partially why the brain will decline over the years is because the BDNF declines too. According to the Firth, exercise regulates the BDNF and prevents it from deteriorating.
Keeping up with the suggested amount by the CDC of getting in 150 minutes of exercise per week, could keep, not only keep your body in tip-top shape, but your brain too!
What exercise can you do that lasts 20 minutes per day to keep your brain healthy?