ABC Medical Center > Digital magazine > Get a healthy brain with exercise

Get a healthy brain with exercise

3 May 2023

Key points:

  • Neurodegenerative diseases can cause motor and cognitive disabilities.

  • Practicing a sport regularly will help with the neurogenesis process.

  • Dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine are chemicals that are released during physical activity.

A neurodegenerative disease is a condition of the nervous system that causes progressive damage to the brain, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, or muscle atrophy; says Dr. Nadia Gandarilla Martínez, neurologist at ABC Medical Center.

Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease and constitutes the most frequent dementia among older adults: between 50% and 70% of cases are attributed to it. It is characterized by memory loss, communication, reasoning problems, disorientation in time-place-self, forgetting the names of relatives and acquaintances, and changes in mood and behavior.1

In general, this type of pathology can be an important cause of motor disability, which is the loss of our ability to move, and cognitive disability, which will affect our abilities such as memory and thinking.

Dr. Gandarilla says that a large part of these cases are due to modifiable risk factors, which are bad habits. If we manage to make changes in our lifestyle, such as eating a healthy diet or exercising regularly, they can be prevented.

Aerobic exercise is the one that has been shown to have the greatest impact on improving brain health, since it increases cardiac output, improves oxygenation and blood flow to the brain.

Oxygenation is vital in every person, as it allows a process known as neurogenesis, which is the brain’s ability to produce new neurons and increase synapses or connections between neurons, this would translate into an improvement in memory and intellectual functions.

On the other hand, by exercising regularly, which is recommended to be practiced four times a week for 40 minutes a day, your brain will benefit from the release of dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine, which are chemical substances that help us feel better and fight anxiety and depression.

At ABC Medical Center’s Neurology Center, we can provide you with specialized care. Contact us!

Dra. Nadia Gandarilla Martínez – neurologist
1 https://www.gob.mx/salud/articulos/actividades-contra-el-alzheimer-175545?idiom=es

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