Exercise is beneficial to Your health – Sweating improves almost every organ in the body, combats nearly every disease doctors diagnose, and improves nearly every health condition you may face on a daily basis.
The best is yet to come. Researchers found that exercise enhances levels of a protein known to strengthen communication between brain cells via synapses, which may be a key factor in preventing dementia.
People with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders whose brains showed signs of plaques and tangles were also protected by the supplement.
According to Kaitlin Casaletto, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco’s Memory and Aging Center and lead author of the study, synapses are critical communication junctions between nerve cells that play a crucial role in cognition.
Protein Regulation is key
Throughout the brain, electrical signals travel smoothly from neuron to neuron and to other cells in the body. In order to do so, the brain needs to replace worn-out proteins in those synapses on a constant basis, while ensuring they are properly balanced and regulated. “Many proteins are present at the synapses that contribute to the cell-to-cell communication. In order for synapses to function properly, these proteins need to be balanced,” Casaletto wrote The brain uses these processes to keep its neural circuits healthy.
Related: Why You Need to Exercise Brain
Studies on mice have long shown that exercise protects the brain after autopsies, but the link has been difficult to establish in humans. Researchers studied human brains in this new study, published Friday in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. As part of the Memory and Aging Project at Rush University in Chicago, researchers examined the protein levels in brains donated to science. Casaletto said that the average age of the participants was between 70 and 80 years old.
How to get moving
Not sure how to start exercising? CTN fitness contributor Dana Santas gave us a few tips on how to add more exercise to your life. Start slowly and don’t overwhelm yourself. Getting injured will just derail your motivation, said Santas, who coaches professional athletes in mind-body training. Exercises that connect your mind and body should be your first step. Walking is the next step! Gradually increase your pace to a moderate pace.
Over the first few days, Santas said, “walk just five to 10 minutes a day while you figure out when and where is best for you.” From there, you can add a few minutes per day. Ideally, you want to reach twenty to thirty minutes a day.
Using this video, she said, you can add weight training to your routine. Santas emphasizes the importance of making movement a habit along with adding movement to your life.
Making it sustainable will enable you to enjoy it and take pride in it, rather than treating it as a chore,” Santas said. Her recommendation is to do a simple exercise before, after, or during a daily task, like making your bed, taking a shower, or brushing your teeth.