The benefits of regular exercise are seemingly endless. Moving regularly provides us with a mood boost, lowers our risk of disease, and helps us maintain a healthy weight. But recently, there's been quite a bit of buzz surrounding exercise as a method for preventing cognitive decline.
A study published in August in the journal eNeuro looked at what kind of impact running regularly had on rats. Researchers had one group of rats run a few miles every day while they were young, while the other group lived in standard cages and were generally sedentary.
When the rats were 7 months old (this is middle-age for rodents!) researchers tested their cognitive function and found that newborn cells in the running rats behaved differently than cells in the sedentary rats. The rats who had exercised were about twice as likely to be able to recall past fear-inducing situations and circumstances than the sedentary ones.
While people are certainly not rats, this study does have implications for human beings as well. Here's what you need to know about how you can use exercise to protect your brain.