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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

Why walking is good for the brain
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Why walking is good for the brain image

Walking is even better for us than we thought: the foot's impact on a hard surface increases the flow of blood to the brain.

Steady walking of one metre a second produces pressure waves through the arteries that "significantly increase" cerebral blood flow (CBF), say researchers from the New Mexico Highlands University.

Although the impact with the ground isn't as great as from running, it's enough to improve blood flow, a mechanism that biologists had believed was involuntarily regulated and largely unaffected by exercise.

They tested the effects of walking with a group of 12 volunteers, who were monitored as they stood still and when they walked steadily. The same researchers had earlier tested the blood flow of runners, whose foot impact measured around four to five G-force. Although the impact was far less when walking, it was still sufficient to improve brain function and create "an overall sense of wellbeing", the researchers said.


References

(Source: Experimental Biology conference 2017, Chicago, April 24, 2017)

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