Exercise and Brain Health

Jun 22, 2024

Exercise is the magic pill for the myriad of health benefits it offers from reducing chronic illnesses to improving cardiovascular health, maintaining a healthy weight, and enhancing overall fitness. Recent studies have shown that exercise is as effective as medication for depression, stress and anxiety. And, a growing body of research highlights its profound impact on brain health.

Let’s explore the relationship between exercise and brain health, including cognitive function, mental acuity with a focus  on  recent studies, including research on Parkinson’s disease, to understand how physical activity influences brain health.

Exercise and Cognitive Function

Cognitive function refers to our higher-level brain functions, that encompasses language, perception, imagination, and planning – how we think and process information. Numerous studies have shown that regular physical activity can significantly enhance cognitive function. Aerobic exercises, such as running, cycling, and swimming, have been particularly effective in improving memory, attention, and executive functions. A study published in the “Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease” found that older adults who engaged in regular aerobic exercise showed improvements in memory and executive function, as well as increased brain volume in regions associated with these cognitive tasks.’