Frontier area…we used to think creation of new brain cells never occurred…we had a finite number!..and the idea was to hang on as long as possible! Now we know neurogenesis in adults is real..that is: the creation of new brain cells in our already mature brain! Hope mature! Rats are not necessary a mirror of what happens in humans, and in a way I hope not, but recent, in depth studies, have interesting results! Scientists have now compared, using rats and neurological impacts of different types of exercise…something I am intensely interested in… running, weight training, and HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. The results surprising! Best Brain Exercise?
A fascinating new study, featured in the Journal of Physiology…researchers at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, managed groups of rats with different workouts…sedentary ones, the control! Best Brain Exercise?
Uniquely the rats were substance injected, ‘marking’ new brain cell production in Hippocampus! The resistance training was tough..15 minutes…and several bouts..similar to HIIT humans..weights not really equivalent to HIST in my parlance ie. complete muscle exhaustion…But continuous jogging was similar extended cardio! Results: very differing neurogenesis! Weights, no real benefits…Cardio way better than HIIT!! Conclusion: sustained aerobic exercise may be best! We have articles in this arena, but my take….distance running releases ‘brain derived neurotrophic factor’ or B.D.N.F. Longer the run, maybe the more BDNF! The rats may have been subject to more inhibiting stress from HIIT…that humans maybe escape. Also longevity also directly linked to other factors, such as cardio health, this involves other HIIT benefits,…alternative blood vessel supply. Other parts of the brain may anyway benefit, and specifically also hit dementia issues.
Solution…try to extend the HIIT workout, without that continuous, extremely draining element… adapt to slightly less stressful routines, so that a blend may achieve both objectives. HIIT blended with cardio, but shorter and not so stressful. Increase time for distance, and adjusting down slightly for intensity duration…All, assumption that rats really reflective of humans! Best Brain Exercise?