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Can just 2 minutes of fast walking help your brain?

Walk faster for a healthier brain. 

Movement and exercise are 2 of our key building blocks to Brain Health at Noggin the Brain People. Keeping active is an essential part of looking after our brains and studies have shown time and time again how exercise can help reduce our risk of heart disease and dementia. But how much exercise? And what type do we need to be doing to get the most benefits? 

We were really excited to read a study this week that looked at 1200 healthy volunteers and the effect that 2 minutes ( Yes JUST TWO MINUTES) of walking had on their brains. Those taking part were asked to walk as quickly as they could for this short amount of time 

The participants had MRI scans done, as well as tests looking at memory and thinking exercises before and after this short burst of exercise

The researchers studied the results of these scans and memory and thinking tests ( called cognition tests) and were surprised with the results. 

What they found was this: people who had walked further in the 2 minutes had better scores on their memory, judgement and mental sharpness tasks AND a change in the appearance of their brains on scanning after this burst of exercise.

Why? “Fit people have better blood circulation and a better regulated immune system, leading to less inflammation in the brain” the researchers reported. 

The conclusion? “A basic level of fitness seems to be a preventable risk for brain health”

Small changes make a difference to how we feel and how we look after our brains.