We Are Not Designed to Live Sedentary Life

The human brain loves activity; it likes to soak in and process information from the outside world. In fact, movement is precisely what made our brain so unique.

brain health
photo: liam simpson

Our early ancestors used to spend most of the day outdoors searching for food and providing for their clan. They were always on the lookout from other predators and the elements of nature. They used topography, sun, moon and stars to navigate through vast African steppe. It is estimated that an average male used to walk up to 20km/12miles each day and a woman half of this. During those long walks, their brain was receiving billions of bits of information; it was constantly busy and alert and, as a result, it evolved into the most complex and surprising of all organs.

Motion and Regular Exercise Are Necessary for Brain Health

During exercise blood flow increases, blood vessels stretch and penetrate deeper into the surrounding tissue creating new capillaries which bring oxygen and food supplies to body and brain cells while washing away toxic waste produced by cell metabolism. Exercise improves cardiovascular fitness which in turn reduces the risk of diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

Research has shown that people who regularly exercise have better cognitive skills than those who have a sedentary lifestyle, and this does not apply only to seniors but the young as well. Regular exercise can cut in half the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It also reduces depression and anxiety both in men and women. Even more, according to some research, people who regularly exercise appear to be smarter.

How to Keep Brain Healthy?

To keep brain healthy, you should go on half-hour walks every day, or practice some aerobic exercise for at least half an hour, two or three times a week. The more time and energy you put into physical activity the better – you will feel stronger and healthier, and your cognitive skills will improve.

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