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Surprisingly simple: With such tricks we keep our brain active and fit


Minimum training improves memory function

A minimum of exercise can help health and memory, as scientific studies have shown. Researchers at the University of California at Irvine (UCI) and the Japanese University of Tsukuba have found that even very light training sessions increase connectivity between parts of the brain that are responsible for memory formation and storage.

Regular exercise keeps us healthy

Health experts continually call to overcome the lack of exercise in themselves and to do sports. After all, regular exercise helps to strengthen the body and protect itself from diseases. It has long been known that physical fitness not only keeps the heart but also the brain young. And it doesn't even need to indulge in sweaty training. Because, as researchers have now found out, the brain already benefits from a minimum of physical activity.

Reduce the risk of dementia

It is often advised to exercise regularly to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's in old age.

Obviously, it shouldn't be too much, because as a study by British scientists showed, intensive sports could even promote the development of dementia.

On the other hand, light exercise is effective against dementia, as German experts recently reported.

And there is also evidence in a new study that even light training keeps the brain fit and improves memory function.

Even light training sessions promote the brain

People who do some yoga or tai chi are more likely to remember where to put their keys.

Because, as researchers from the University of California at Irvine (UCI) and the Japanese University of Tsukuba found, even very light training sessions increase connectivity between parts of the brain that are responsible for memory formation and storage.

In a study of 36 healthy young adults, the scientists discovered in a study by the US university that a single 10-minute phase of light effort can bring significant cognitive benefits.

Using high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging, the team examined the brains of the subjects shortly after the training sessions and saw a better connection between the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex.

The results of the study have now been published in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences".

Data collection for the study took place in Japan and the analysis was performed in both Japan and Irvine, California.

The study was led by UCI professor Michael Yassa and Hideaki Soya, professor of health and sports science at the University of Tsukuba.

Positive results within ten minutes

“The hippocampus is critical to creating new memories; it is one of the first regions of the brain to deteriorate with age - and much more so with Alzheimer's disease, ”said study co-leader, UCI professor Michael Yassa.

"The improvement of the function of the hippocampus is very promising to improve the memory in everyday life."

Previous research has focused, according to Yassa, on how exercise promotes the generation of new brain cells in memory regions.

This has not been neglected in the current study, but above all the increased communication between memory-focused parts of the brain has been observed.

"What we observed was that these 10-minute workouts showed results immediately afterwards," said Yassa.

Memory improvement

You can achieve a lot with just a little physical activity, Yassa emphasized. "It's encouraging to see more people follow their exercise habits - for example, by monitoring the number of steps they take," the researcher said.

“Even short breaks during the day that are used for walking can have a significant impact on improving memory and perception.”

Yassa and his colleagues at UCI and the University of Tsukuba are expanding their research by testing older adults who are at higher risk of age-related intellectual impairment.

They want to do long-term interventions to determine whether regular, short, light exercises that are done daily for several weeks or months have a positive effect on the structure and function of the brain.

"It is clear that it is very important to understand which exercise concept works best for older people so that we can make recommendations to avert cognitive decline," said Yassa. (ad)

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