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Sedentary lifestyle: The risks for our brain

Sedentary lifestyle: The risks for our brain

Inactivity, not exercising, not reading or training, in short, not moving, is harmful to health in general. This has been known for years. However, in this article we will specifically present to you what the risks of a sedentary lifestyle are for your brain.

We live in a time where physical activity takes a secondary place in our lives. Many work occupations involve us sitting for long hours, and we get around in our daily lives using vehicles, without walking.

A sedentary lifestyle changes the structure of the nervous system

The nervous system is not a static structure, but a dynamic one. New synapses are continually created, others are modified, and others are eliminated. However, the changes that are promoted with inactivity are not exactly good, and that is one of the biggest risks of a sedentary lifestyle.

In research carried out in 2014 by Mischel and collaborators from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, the specific changes that occur in the brain as a result of a sedentary lifestyle were precisely found.

The researchers selected two groups of rats. One of them moved and exercised regularly. Another one, no. After 3 months, they found physical changes in the structure of the sedentary rats' brains:

An excessive number of additional branches in the neurons that overstimulated the nervous system, accelerating the heart rate and predisposing to hypertension.

Inactivity led the sympathetic nervous system to fail to regulate peripheral vasoconstriction, which also predisposes to hypertension and heart disease.

Other scientific research has found that a sedentary lifestyle weakens memory and learning capacity, as well as predisposing one to suffer from neurodegenerative diseases.

How to avoid the risks of a sedentary lifestyle for your brain?

Exercising improves physical and mental health

Thomas Stephens, in research published in Preventive Medicine, showed that moderate exercise improves mental health, especially in those people who suffer from stress, anxiety and depression disorders. Additionally, the results of their study yielded data that pointed to records of:

  • Mood improvement
  • Reduction of symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Increased physical well-being
  • Significant increase in quality of life, especially in women and the rest of the population over 40 years of age

The conclusion is clear: the best way to avoid chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases, is through exercise. In fact, a simple daily walk is enough to avoid many problems. Yes, the exercise must be moderate and progressive.

Sleep is essential

It is known that one of the risks of a sedentary lifestyle lies in the elimination of activity routines and a disorder in schedules, which results in poor quality of sleep. And of course, this only aggravates the problem.

If we do not sleep well, we will be in worse spirits and suffer greater emotional instability. Our attention and memory will be greatly affected by reducing rest time.

On the contrary, doing a little exercise improves the quality of sleep and makes it restful. It is not surprising that one of the fundamental supports in the treatment of insomnia is exercising.

Exercise avoids the risks of a sedentary lifestyle and improves mood

That's right, exercise helps combat the symptoms of anxiety, so it also helps you be calmer and more relaxed when it comes time to go to sleep. Sport increases self-esteem, self-confidence and promotes social exchange.

In short, the risks of a sedentary lifestyle for your brain and physique have been demonstrated. Therefore, it is in your power to combat them with some exercise and stimulation for your neurons, such as outdoor activities, visiting museums, or having a conversation with someone you are walking with.

"A sedentary lifestyle promotes chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure"

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