|I think we are like all animals. When an animal becomes sedentary it becomes lunch.|
Not to mention the force of blood flow to the brain while running creates new brain cells. Good for mind and body.
Where is the downside?
How running jogs your memory by creating new brain cellsBy Tamara Cohen
Last updated at 8:15 AM on 19th January 2010
A regular jog leads to the growth of new cells in the area of the brain which boosts your memory
We all know running is good for your body.
But it can also do wonders for the mind, according to Cambridge University scientists
A regular jog leads to the growth of new cells in the area of the brain which boosts your memory, a study has found.
It is not clear why aerobic exercise triggers the growth of grey matter (known as neurogenesis) but it may be linked to increased blood flow or higher levels of hormones that are released while exercising.
Timothy Bussey a behavioural neuroscientist at Cambridge and a senior author on the study said the team studied two groups of mice, one which had umlimited access to a running wheel while the other did not.
After a few days left alone, they put both groups of mice through a series of memory tests on a computer screen. It displayed two identical squares side by side, and if they nudged the one on the left with their nose they received a sugar pellet reward, while the one on the right yielded nothing.
The mice who had been running were almost twice as successful as those in the control group at picking the correct square.
At the start of the test, the squares were 30cm apart, but got closer and closer together until they were almost touching.
This part of the experiment was designed to test how good the mice were at separating two very similar memories. The human equivalent could be remembering what a person had for dinner yesterday and the day before, or where they parked on different trips to the supermarket.
The greatest improvement was seen in the later stages of the experiment, when the two squares were so close they nearly touched, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The sedentary mice got steadily worse at the test because their memories became too similar to separate.
M Bussey told the Guardian: 'At this stage of the experiment, the two memories the mice are forming of the squares are very similar. It is when they have to distinguish between the two that these new brain cells really make a difference.'
He added: 'We know exercise can be good for healthy brain function, but this work provides us with a mechanism for the effect.'
The scientists also tried to wrongfoot the mice by switching the square that produced a food reward but the running mice were quicker to catch on when scientists changed them around.
Nobel Prize winning physicist Wolfgang Ketterle has said running gives him time to think through problems
The running mice clocked up an average of 15 miles (24km) a day.
Brain tissue taken from the rodents showed that the running mice had grown fresh grey matter during the experiment.
Tissue samples from the dentate gyrus part of the brain, one of the few regions of the adult brain which can grow new cells, revealed on average 6,000 new brain cells had been created.
Previous studies on people with depression have found their symptoms can improve if they exercise regularly. Some antidepressant drugs work by encouraging the growth of new brain cells.
It is also thought exercise might also reduce stress, which inhibits new brain cells through a hormone called cortisol.
The Cambridge researchers joined forces with colleagues at the US National Institute on Ageing in Maryland to investigate the effect of running.A few days of running led to the growth of hundreds of thousands of new brain cells that improved the ability to recall memories without confusing them, a skill that is crucial for learning and other cognitive tasks, researchers said.
Many great minds have said they enjoy a jog. Nobel Prize winning Physicist Wolfgang Ketterle has said: 'When I run, I think about everything: physics, family problems, plans for the weekend. I haven't made any big discoveries on a run, but it does give me time to think through problems. Some solutions are obvious, but they are only obvious when you are relaxed enough to find them.'
Newsnight presenter Emily Maitliss is often spotted jogging near her London home.
Print this article Read later Email to a friend Share this article: Facebook Twitter Digg it Reddit Fark Del.icio.us Newsvine Nowpublic StumbleUpon MySpace Comments (23)Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not debate this issue live on our message boards.
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Newest Oldest Best rated Worst rated View all "Firstly, she is not jogging. I am in my fifties and I lift my knees far higher than she is doing."
C'mon then expert, what is she doing then? because it would be rather difficult to have both feet off the ground if she wasn't running in some way. I run and I barely lift my knees at all.
- Paul, Oxford, 22/1/2010 07:21
Click to rate Rating 5 Report abuse
Too risky for me. I've forget where I'm going and what for just going to the top of the stairs - I daren't go for a run!!
- Keith, Ipswich, UK, 22/1/2010 00:09
Click to rate Rating 6 Report abuse
The female featured (pictured) in the story does not enhance the report at all. She has been included to further the goals of social engineering.
Firstly, she is not jogging. I am in my fifties and I lift my knees far higher than she is doing.
Secondly, she is not British. The last time I checked the Daily Mail was an English newspaper. The girls facial features are close to what you might see in Central America. The photo is likely taken from Internet Stock, and was probably photographed in California.
Thirdly, can the British press tell us why females aged between 20 and 35 are featured in almost every scientific and/or health related report?
And lastly: in a normal society that does not constantly tout a 'hidden agenda', a report such as this (by Tamara Cohen) would have been supported by a photograph showing a mixed-sex group of people jogging.
England is where young women have become deities: the objects of worship. The evidence is all around you. Open your eyes.
- Viking, Kuala Lumpur, 21/1/2010 07:14
Click to rate Rating 12 Report abuse
I've run and raced competitively for the last forty-five years. I still run about 100 km a week, almost all of it barefoot on the beach after dark, much of it with my two nine-year old labs.
Never had an injury caused by running, but plenty from rugby in my younger days. Nor have I ever had any problem with my joints, nor my back, caused by running, except that it's true that in my late teens to early twenties I would develop lower back pain in a road race or X-country competition if I started off too fast. I overcame that problem by learning to stretch a lot more, AFTER a strenuous training session - not before.
Last time it was tested, my IQ was in the low 140s - thus unchanged over the last thirty years. So, I've always been a fair bit brighter than average, but I'd say my successes continue due to hard work and perseverance rather than to sheer brain power.
Smarter humans may run simply because it thrills us. We feel more alive.
- TheTrampolinist, Cairns, Australia, 20/1/2010 12:53
Click to rate Rating 9 Report abuse
It was the hunger generated by all that running that made the 'runners' more successful at eliciting the sugar. Nothing to do with improved memory!!!
- sue, london uk, 20/1/2010 12:41
Click to rate Rating 8 Report abuse
So this is why my boyfriend tells me I have a memory like an elephant and should be a lawyer.. because I´m a runner :)
- Kat, Marbella, 19/1/2010 20:41
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