We all experience a “senior moment” every now and then. They tend to increase once we turn a certain age. According to scientific research, running may not only help in reducing the frequency of such moments but also help improve overall brain function and memory.
Running is recommended for physical fitness. From the fitness enthusiast to the serious athlete, running is part of virtually any sport. However, there may be more to it than just the physical aspect.
One of the immediate benefits many a regular runner will tell you they obtain from it is that it clears the brain. Some even say that a good run makes them feel “like a brand new person”. Well, scientific research now appears to validate these claims.
About three decades of research indicate link between aerobic exercise (such as running) and cognitive clarity. Until recently, it was thought that adults do not produce new neurons. Now studies show that new neurons are produced in the brains throughout a lifetime. And running may help boost this.
Not only could this be vital to our mental health, but of particular interest is where most of the process takes place.
According to various studies, acute aerobic helps trigger birth of new neurons. Moreover, this appears to occur mainly in the hippocampus area of the brain. This is the part associated with learning and memory.
A long-term habit of aerobic physical activity may also positively impact the frontal lobe, which is associated with “executive functions” such as planning, organizing, problem solving, and selective attention. Perhaps this is why those athletic individuals we so envy also happen to do well in school.
Running Barefoot Better?
In a separate study, it was found that running barefoot may help boost working memory function. 72 participants between the ages of 18 and 44 ran both barefoot and with shoes at a comfortable pace for approximately 16 minutes.
The results significant increase in barefoot runners compared to runners with shoes. Running barefoot causes one to pay attention to where one is stepping to avoid potentially injurious objects, thus requiring more intensive focus and use of working memory. You can read a detailed post at Sputniknews.