Want better brain function? Take a Hike.

Physical exercise is one of the most important components in keeping you young, and improving brain function.

I took a 45 minute hike up and down the mountain today, and I can feel myself getting smarter already. Or at least, my brain function is sharper after the exercise.

Improvement in blood flow from even moderate exercise like walking will improve your mental awareness, but did you know that it actually helps build new brain cells, and maintains and preserves existing cells?

It’s now being considered among evolutionary scientists that the physical exercise involved in hunting for food may have contributed not only to the survival of our species, but to the development of our enormous brains; and created a cycle of improvement and success that lead to our becoming the dominant species on the planet.

Exercise, even just taking a brisk walk 4-5 times a week can help develop new neurons, reduce inflammation in the body, improve insulin resistance, and reduce blood sugar levels. The effects can be amazing for people of all ages, including improved brain function in older people already feeling the effects of mental decline.

According to noted neurologist and author, Dr. David Perlmutter, “In a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Professor Nicola Lautenschlager of the University of Western Australia found that elderly individuals engaged in regular physical exercise for a twenty-four-week period had an 1,800 percent improvement on measures of memory, language ability, attention, and other important cognitive functions compared to a control group. The exercise group spent about 142 minutes in physical activity weekly, which averages about 20 minutes a day.”*

The evidence continues to build that exercise promotes strength and health, fights off illness like heart disease, diabetes and obesity, and now we know it improves our mental powers. Sounds like a good reason to get off the couch and take the dog for a long walk.

 

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