How Strong Muscles Keep Your Brain Healthy

Myokines are released into the bloodstream when your muscles contract, create new cells, or perform other metabolic activities. Once in the brain, they also regulate physiological and metabolic reactions there. As a result, myokines have the ability to influence cognition, mood, and emotional behavior. Exercise further stimulates what scientists call “muscle-brain crosstalk,” and these myokine messengers help determine specific beneficial responses in the brain. These may include the formation of new neurons and increased synaptic plasticity, which aids learning and memory.

Thus, strong muscles are essential for healthy brain function.

in young muscles a small amount of exercise triggers molecular processes that tell the muscles to grow. Muscle fibers are damaged by tension and stress and then repaired by fusing together and growing in size and mass. Muscles become stronger, surviving each series of small breakdowns, providing regeneration, rejuvenation, regrowth. With age, the signal sent by exercise becomes much weaker. While it is more difficult for older adults to gain and maintain muscle mass, it is still possible and that maintenance is critical to brain support.

Even moderate exercise can increase metabolism in areas of the brain. important for learning and memory in the elderly. And it has been found that the brain itself responds to exercise in a strikingly physical way. The hippocampus, a brain structure that plays an important role in learning and memory, shrinks in late adulthood; this can lead to an increased risk of dementia. Exercise has been proven to increase the size of the hippocampus.even at a later age, protecting against age-related losses and improving spatial memory.

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