By ZARA JAYNE
Studies have shown that exercise can create new brain cells and generate other changes. However, did you know that physical inactivity can also modify your brain?
Scientists at Wayne State University School of Medicine along with other academies, conducted a study with a dozen rats. Half of them were placed in cages with running wheels while the other half were in cages without them and remained sedentary.
After about three months, the rats were injected with a specific dye that marks the neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla, the part of the brain that controls the involuntary actions.
Although this experiment has been conducted on animals, studies have shown that people have the same brain region and they function similarly.
The scientists found prominent differences between the two groups of rats when looking inside their brains after three months.
The shapes of the neurons in the running rats were almost the same as when they started the experiment. However, the neurons in the brain of the sedentary rats grew more branches which were abnormal.
As a result, Reynolds explains that these altered neurons can possibly increase blood pressure and heart disease.
So, start working your brain and body the right way. Simple activities like walking, cycling or jogging will benefit you in the long run. Don’t be a couch potato!
Here are 5 interesting facts on physical activity according to the World Health Organisation:
1. Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk element for worldwide mortality.
2. People who are between five and 17 years old should exercise for at least 60 minutes per day.
3. People who are 18-64 years of age should exercise at least 150 minutes per week, a minimum of 10 minutes for each session.
4. People aged 65 and above are advised to exercise at least 150 minutes per week. They should particularly work on balance and countering falls.
5. Good support system from family and friends motivates people to be more physically active.
Now that you have a deeper understanding of physical activity and inactivity, take it seriously!
Keep your brain healthy and alive!