Research is finding more and more evidence that exercise is good for the brain and maintaining an active lifestyle can lessen your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.
As our brains age, we begin to lose our memories and the production of new cells slows down significantly. This condition is made worse by a growth factor called bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), which signals the body to produce more bone and cartilage, and dictates the skeletal architecture of the body. BMP has been shown to have a negative effect on the regenerative activity of brain cells and prevents new cells from being formed.
However, the good news is that with exercise, the brain produces something called noggin which works against BMP to create more brain cells. In effect, the more we exercise, the more active our brains become and the more noggin is produced, leading to longevity and a higher quality of life.
We have proven in animals that exercise increases memory learning and improves behaviour – Northwestern University in Chicago
This research involved studying the brain activity of mice who were fed large amounts of noggin compared to what happened to their brains when their level of activity was increased with wheel and maze work. After a week, the levels of BMP were reduced by half and noggin levels increased. Other research shows that BMP and noggin work in conjunction with one another and when only noggin is present, the cells eventually die out.
If you’re already living a healthy lifestyle, this doesn’t mean you have to start working out harder or more often to get the effect of noggin. Any amount of activity will increase noggin levels. However, if you are making the leap from couch potato to fit-and-buff, I can’t think of a better reason to get on your bike!
Originally published @ FITLODE.COM