As a trainer, I have always said that your life skills, focus and ability to improve various parts of your life can be positively affected by exercise. But, studies now support what many of us in the fitness industry have already seen firsthand. A recent study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that middle aged monkeys who exercised on a treadmill had improved cognitive function than their sedentary counterparts. The study found that regular exercise’s positive impact on blood flow to the brain can help speed up the learning process. Prior studies out of Sweden have also showed that exercise, no matter what your age, can improve brain function.
While, I have especially seen seniors preserve much of their cognitive skills through exercise, there is now mounting evidence that kids, young adults and those in their middle age can boost brain power by implementing exercise into their daily life. Young to middle aged adults can truly benefit by the stress lowering effects of regular exercise as well as the documented ten percent brain boost. This is especially helpful during career building years. By lowering stress and anxiety, they’re less prone to become depressed, develop cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They’re also less prone to having a stroke which diminishes cognitive function and is the number one reason for rehabilitative care in the U.S.
Studies show that exercise boosts blood flow to the brain and reduces the effects of aging on memory and brain function by promoting the growth of new nerve cells.
For the younger generations, there is a reason we hear the term student/athlete.
A study in the last several months focusing on teenage males found that those in the best cardiovascular strength out performed their less fit peers on various cognitive tests. The study also looked at the effect exercise had between the ages of 15 to18 for those who improved their fitness level. The results were positive not only physically, but academically as well as published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.