NOV 07, 2016 02:43 PM PST

The Brain Knows When You Stop Working Out

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

It's no secret that we quickly lose our cardiovascular endurance after an extended break from regular exercise. However, did you know that your brain is also impacted by a disruption in physical activity?

In a study, researchers looked at blood flow in the brains of master athletes - those between 50-80 years of age who regularly exercise. They compared the blood flow in these people during regular exercise and after a 10-day hiatus. Shockingly, with just a short break, the blood flow to many areas of the brain was significantly decreased. One area that was significantly affected was the hippocampus, which is crucial for learning in memory.

Although the researchers reported no cognitive decline in these participants that correlate with the decrease in blood flow, the results underscore the importance of an active lifestyle for an active mind.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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