Some types of physical exercise may be more effective than others in improving the functionality of the brain, shows a new study conducted on rats.
For the first time ever, scientists compared the neurological effects of different types of exercise: running, exercising with weights and intensive exercise at intervals. Surprising results show that heavy exercise may not be the best option, at least when it comes to healthy brain activity.
Exercise alters the structure and function of the brain. Studies conducted on animals and humans have shown that physical activity generally increases the brain and may reduce the number of holes that appear with age. Exercise can cause the creation of new brain cells in the adult brain.
In a study of rats, exercise in the form of running has proved a key element for doubling the number of new neurons appearing in the brain for learning and remembering. Scientists believe that exercise have similar effects on humans.
It is not yet clear why running causes the creation of new nerve cells in addition to other forms of physical activity, but scientists speculate that running stimulates the secretion of a substance in the brain that is responsible for regulating the creation of new nerve cells.
On the other hand, exercise with weights, which will extremely tighten the muscles, had little effect on the brain. Intensive exercise at intervals, however, proved stressful, causing the decrease in the number of new nerve cells.