Run for a smarter and sharper brain

Jun 05, 2014

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    Hitting the Pavement

    Promising brain studies show a strong link between running and a younger, quicker brain. Plus, a frequent habit of running gives you long-term rewards. Although all forms of exercises generate more energy for the brain, but according to research, aerobically challenging exercises yield a greater mental pay-off. Running is not just good for your physique, but also for your brain power. Learn how running the extra mile makes you smarter and sharper. Image Courtesy: Getty



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    Helps Your Brain Grow

    That didn’t mean your brain would burst through your skull. Brain tends to shrink as the person ages but when you run, the formation of new nerve cells and blood vessels is stimulated. Running also improves your vision and hearing by increasing midbrain volume and aids your memory and learning by inducing the hippocampus. Image Courtesy: Getty



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    Reverses Age-related Shrinkage

    Running not just prevents age-related shrinkage of brain but also gives you a healthier-than-average brain by affecting the brain chemicals in a particular way. A 2012 study observed that while the cognitive function scores were same in middle-aged athletes and non-athletes, athletes' brains showed greater metabolic efficiency and neural plasticity. Image Courtesy: Getty



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    Promotes Learning Power

    Another 2012 study found that at least moderately fit people did better on memory tests than those who were less fit; this means that running boosts your ability to recall information. Previous research has linked running to a better ability to focus, juggle multiple tasks, and make distinctions. Image Courtesy: Getty



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    Trains Your Brain to Store More Fuel

    Brain adapts in the same way as training that conditions your muscles to store more fuel. According to research, larger glycogen stores in the brain may be one of the reasons why running boosts cognitive function. Image Courtesy: Getty



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    Fills Your Brain with Feel-good Chemicals

    When you run, endorphins or feel-good chemicals are released. Plus, like many antidepressant medications, running helps your brain hold on to mood-boosting neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine. Run in quiet, green spaces instead of crowded streets for better results. Image Courtesy: Getty



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    Relieves Stress

    In studies, regular runners generally say they live a happier, more stress-free life than their housebound counterparts. Psychologically, running gives you a set amount of time to be alone with your thoughts. Image Courtesy: Getty



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    Prevents Memory Loss

    Mounting evidence suggests that physical activity may have benefits beyond a healthy heart and body weight. Through the past several years, population studies have suggested that running raises your heart rate for at least 30 minutes several times a week and it can lower your risk of Alzheimer's. Image Courtesy: Getty