Walking and doing physical activity is good but what happens to our brain when we don’t do it out of laziness or because we are physically unable?
Walking is good, even children know it. Numerous studies have shown the benefits for our health of doing it regularly but a new study has shown that movement is also good for the brain and nervous system and its absence can even reduce the production of new cells.
Usually physical activity is associated with the prevention of cardiovascular disease, overweight and obesity but there are now many researches that have shown how this healthy habit is beneficial against certain diseases such as breast cancer and even manages to prolong the life expectancy for those affected by a tumor.
But that’s not all.
What happens to the brain when we don’t move
The new study, conducted by scientists from the State University of Milan and those of the University of Pavia, focused instead on the effects of prolonged muscle stop on neural stem cells .
Scientists have found that walking and more generally doing leg exercises is good for the brain by stimulating the formation of new nerve cells. On the contrary, standing still for a long time, for example during space missions or because of a bed rest for long periods, causes functional alterations in many organs of the human body, including changes in skeletal neuromuscular function. According to the new research, in fact, neurogenesis is altered, that is the process of formation of new nerve cells starting from neural stem cells.
Both astronauts and patients with chronic pathologies, due to the reduction of muscle activity, face an impairment of muscle and brain performance, thus affecting not only the motor and metabolic system but also the nervous system.
Although the study was conducted in mice, the research had the merit of showing the effects of leg movement on our brain and the production of neural stem cells.