Running can make your brain function better. It plays an important role in learning and memory, according to a study published in Nature. In the study, more than 1,100 people of an average age of about 28 years participated in physical and mental tests. During the physical test, the participants were asked to walk for two minutes and their walked distance was measured as a substitute for their endurance. Participants who ran more in the two minutes scored highest for endurance.
In the mental tests, researchers checked other things like memory, reasoning, and judgment. MRI tests of participants were also taken to test their brain function. Both the tests have revealed that the fittest people were those who have a higher level of endurance and scored well in the cognitive tests with a high level of fractional anisotropy.
The fractional anisotropy resembles white matter in the brain that controls the brain’s communication system. Think wires in our mind that contain glutamic acid connect brain parts with each other to share messages.
The study found that if you have a high level of endurance and white matter, that means your wiring is great and the brain is well connected with cells to communicate quickly. Participants who had high endurance also had higher global cognition scores that measure things like sorting, memory, and recognition to give an overall cognitive performance.
Running causes better blood flow in the brain and increase nerve stimulating hormones and decreases inflammation.