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How To Keep Our Brain in Good Shape?

Many studies associate sport with better brain development and with the increase in the formation of new neurons.

The Woman Post | Margarita Briceño

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That is why exercise focuses on one of the most important topics on lifestyles that have a positive impact on the brain health of human beings by stimulating the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex places where our memory functions and cognitive level reside.

For the neuropsychologist Samira Gutiérrez De la Pava, the brain depends on the optimal function of all systems, and any type of movement will be beneficial and will give it a boost “physical activity reduces the risk of developing depression, anxiety, even when there is a genetic risk. Importantly, it reduces the severity of depressive disorders, increases brain volume (delays and reverses aging,) can reduce the risk of dementia, improves attention, memory, and precision, elevates mood, improves resilience to stress, and even improves academic performance in children.”

The exercise includes learning elements and is closely related to the motivation and interest on the part of the person who performs it, their age, time to allocate for this activity, and skills to do it, so it is recommended that it be approved by a treating doctor to achieve improvements in the balance of neurotransmitters such as Dopamine, responsible for movement, and Serotonin, responsible for controlling emotions. "Aerobic exercise, for example, makes the heart pump blood, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the muscles that are being worked, but this increase also allows an increase in cerebral blood flow, which is associated with better cognitive performance," there is even greater concentration and attention immediately after exercise,” says Dr. Gutiérrez.

Brain Gymnastics to Create New Neurons

Brain gymnastics or cognitive training is a technique that includes a series of exercises that allow integrating different parts of the brain, in order to activate and strengthen cognitive abilities (memory, attention, executive functions, perception, among others). It is based on the neuroplasticity or ability of the brain to change its structure and functioning, as a reaction to the environment and the stimulation it provides.

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For the neuropsychologist Samira Gutiérrez “brain gymnastics allows the transfer of strengthened and stimulated skills to the tasks and activities of daily life… when the brain is trained through constant and adequate stimulation with a systematic and practical repetition, this organ changes its structure and functioning, allows the production of new neurons (neurogenesis), increases the number of neuronal connections generally after 2-3 months and this promotes an improvement in the adaptation of the person to their environment.”

We are a comprehensive system where physical activity and taking care of brain health are necessary to optimize our cognitive functioning. People of all ages and physical conditions should adapt their routine and include exercise in it, any type of movement is always associated with improvement.