Have you ever felt you’ve done better school work right after a workout session? Thats because it is proven that exercise is good for the brain. When you are working out, your blood flow increases, your metabolism goes up, and you release endorphins in your head that nourishes your brain and puts you in a better mood. With an increased blood flow to your brain comes an increase in oxygen going in and out of the brain, resulting in a more fresh and nourishing environment for cell growth.
In a recent study, “researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that physical activity is also associated with improved white matter integrity.” These researchers conducted two studies, in which both displayed the improvement of white matter integrity after physical activity, in active children aged 9-10. They found the same results in minimally active participants aged 60-78. “In this study, U. of I. kinesiology and community heatlh professor Charles Hillman, postdoctoral researcher Laura Chaddock-Heyman and their colleagues found that physically fit children had more fibrous and compact white matter tracts in the brain than their less fit peers.” The professor and colleges in this study used Diffusion Tensor Imaging to study the five white matter portions of the brain that control attention and memory. What they found was a consistent improvement in the persons white matter integrity after exercise. The researchers did not compare the children’s cognitive differentiation, but noticed the improvement in each child.
The importance of this White Matter tissue, is that it carries the nerve signals from one portion of the brain to another. The improvement in the White Matter Integrity helps increase the speed at which your brain functions. Exercise plays a major role in keeping your white matter healthy and sharp. Aerobics are said to be the most effective form of exercise when compared to brain activity. This is because during a cardiovascular exercise, the amount of blood flowing through your body is greater than if you are just lifting weights.