We all know that regular exercise is essential for better health but how about its positive effects on mental health? Scientists have been investigating how regular workout improves mental health and they may have found that connection.
A study published in the Translational Psychiatry journal found that working out protects the brain from the ill-effects of metabolism. This may hold the key to better mental health. One study noted that a sedentary lifestyle is one of the risk factors for dementia. Leading an active life may decrease the risk of dementia later in life.
Researchers have figured out how physical exercise prevents dementia and protects the brain
(Natural News) Gerontologists and sports physicians at Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany have concluded in a new study that not only does regular physical exercise manage weight and maintain the body’s fitness, it also protects the brain and positively impacts its metabolism. The study, which involved 60 participants aged between 65 and 85, aimed to assess movement-related parameters, cognitive performance, and cardiopulmonary fitness. Half of the participants took part in stationary bike exercises as part of a 12-week program, half of them did not.
The training sessions, which lasted for 30 minutes, three times a week, for each participant in the training group, were calibrated in such a way as to adapt to each participant’s performance level. The participants were examined after these sessions so that the researchers could take note of the effects physical activity had on cognitive performance, brain metabolism, and brain structure. Researchers used magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to do so.
The results of the tests were what the researchers had expected: Physical activity directly affected brain metabolism by hindering the increase of choline levels. In the training group, researchers found out that physical exercise resulted in stable cerebral choline concentrations, while in the control group, choline levels increased. Higher levels of choline in the body can lead to an increased loss of nerve cells, which is what happens when someone gets afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.
After the training sessions, the participants in the training group had their cardiac efficiency improved, leading to the conclusion that physical exercise is not only good for the body, but for the mind as well.
The study, titled Sport and Metabolism in Older Persons, was published in the journal Translational Psychiatry. The Gerontology Department of the Institute of General Medicine, which was spearheaded by Professor Johannes Pantel, and the Department of Sports Medicine, which was chaired by Professor Winfried Banzer, conducted the study.
Image courtesy of: AstridWestvang