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Run for a smarter and sharper brain

If you want to maintain the strength and vitality of your brain as you age, you must assume a proactive role by running for it.

Exercise & Fitness By Ariba KhaliqJun 05, 2014

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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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

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