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Walk To Keep Your Brain Active And Healthy In Old Age

In addition to benefitting your heart and muscles, a regular walk also contributes to keeping your brain healthy.

Walk To Keep Your Brain Active And Healthy In Old Age

Walking, if done often and properly, can deliver an array of benefits that are just as impressive as those often gained from sportier regimens. Walking is widely recommended for its health benefits. It helps lose weight, tone the body and maintain good health. In addition to benefitting your heart and muscles, a regular walk also contributes to keeping your brain healthy. The foot's impact during walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that significantly modify and can increase the supply of blood to the brain.

Researchers from New Mexico Highlands University used non-invasive ultrasound to measure hemispheric cerebral blood flow or CBF to both sides of the brain of 12 healthy young adults during standing upright, rest and steady walking (one metre/second). The researchers found that though there is lighter foot impact associated with walking compared with running, walking still produces large pressure waves in the body that significantly increase blood flow to the brain.

While the effects of walking on CBF were less dramatic than those caused by running, they were greater than the effects seen during cycling, which involves no foot impact at all. "New data now strongly suggest that brain blood flow is very dynamic and depends directly on cyclic aortic pressures that interact with retrograde pressure pulses from foot impacts," the researchers wrote.

"There is a continuum of hemodynamic effects on human brain blood flow within pedalling, walking and running. Speculatively, these activities may optimise brain perfusion, function, and overall sense of wellbeing during exercise," the researchers said.

To allow our brain to be intelligent, it must be constantly fed oxygen and nutrients from the blood, the researchers concluded.

With Inputs from ANI
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