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The Connection Between Physical Activity and Cognitive Function

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Most of the times, physical activity and cognitive function are considered two separate things. Often, physical fitness is associated with good looks and the ability to engage in intense physical tasks. Similarly, cognitive function is relative to your mental ability. Both these things are considered separately and are rarely linked together, but it is not too hard to see the connection between them. If you are physically fit, not only will you look good and have more strength and endurance but you will also be more productive, focused, and relaxed. This shows how physical activity and cognitive function are somewhat connected.


Often, people who are not mentally fit or going through a tough time start binging or snacking at odd hours to deal with their problems. This means that if you are depressed, there is a chance your eating habits will fluctuate and you will adopt a pattern that might not be safe for your health, leading to hazardous conditions.


The connection between physical activity and cognitive function has been studied for years and it is now proven that physical exercise works in favor of mental health. The benefits of physical exercise, especially aerobic exercises, are important for improving your cognitive functions. Research has shown that people who go to the gym regularly have significantly sharpened their mental skills. The results have varied on a range of frontiers, from chemical changes to behavioral changes, which have been observed in the people who exercise regularly and those who don’t.


These results were collected by the Department of Exercise Sciences at one of the prestigious medical institutions, University of Georgia in the United States. The lead researchers have conclusively stated that even 10 to 20 minutes of physical activity can directly affect the cognitive functions in a positive way.


Physical activity stimulates the plasticity of brain by channelizing growth and development of new and improved connections between the cells and tissues of cortical areas of your brain. Recent research conducted at UCLA has successfully proven the effect of exercise on the growth of mental capability because of the increase in the numbers of new neuronal connections.


Some other associative research has complemented the UCLA study by showing that it’s not only the exercise that leads to a better mind but in fact it works the other way as well. A healthy and productive mind can convince you to engage in physical activities regularly, leading to a slim and sleek body. The chemical changes in the brain can also affect your energy levels that influence your ability to tackle physical activities.