Human life span is increasing thanks to the advancements in the fields of medicine and science. The average life span has reached 80 in Korea. Some say that we have been affected by the aftermaths of the war. However, considering that the average life span was 50 in the 1950’s, we cannot but say that there has been a enormous change over the 60 years. Much research is being conducted regarding the various factors that affect the life span of humans. Food, life style, medical science, exercise and the list goes on. Of all, exercising is the most effective way to elongate one’s life span without any aftereffects.
The positive effects of exercise are so well known that they are considered a universal truth. Especially, numerous studies have been conducted on the positive effects of exercise on the human body for the last 30 to 40 years. Several studies proved that exercise was closely related to developing muscles and strengthening the heart and lungs. With it, people soon came to realize that exercise was more than just a part of their leisure. Rather, exercise started to gain significance as a vital part of people’s lives, contributing to a healthier and longer life.
Recently, various studies on the psychological and social effects of exercise have been conducted. In 1995, a study about the relation between exercise and the neuron growth was published in Nature. The study was sensational; it proved that exercise attributes the number of growth hormone cells. In the 20thcentury, scholars believed that the numbers of neurons were fixed up on birth, and that the numbers decreased from 30years of age. However, this study revealed that brain cells are regenerated at thousands a time.About 15 years ago, the discovery of a molecule as important as that of neurotransmitter radically changed the fundamental understanding of the connection of brain cells and their growth and development. Fred H. Gage, a neurobiologist at the Salk Institute (for biological studies), conducted an experiment on mice to test the theory of environmental enrichment(a theory that explains how experiencing different environments stimulate the brain). The result proved that exercise rejuvenates the brain, thereby increasing the number of neurons, but to preserve these neurons, one must be exposed to an ‘enriched’ environment. There were twice as many new brain cells in the hippocampus of the mice that have exercised than those of the mice which did not. There are various on-going researches on the effects of exercising to the brain cells, explaining the relationship between exercising and learning, memory, and mental health retrospectively. With it, more emphasis is placed on exercising.
Researchers have so far placed weight on the purpose of exercising to enhance the structure of the brain. Then what kinds of exercises should one do to improve his or her structure of the brain?
Although walking and running is good for our health, scholars recommend complex exercises that contract our muscles. Aerobic exercises and complex movements are beneficial to our brain in various ways. Aerobic exercise stimulates our body to release certain neurotransmitters, dilate blood vessels, and trigger the growth of new cells; complex exercise further strengthens the body. Thus, the more the movement becomes complex, so does the connection between synapses. The circuit created by exercises allows people to do different activities like thinking. So when we dance along an irregular beat, it increases the plasticity and adaptability of the brain. Any kinds of complex exercises must be learned, stimulating the activity of the brain. All things considered, we now know that based on the fundamentals of physical science, exercise affects the growth and development of brain cells. We also know that complex exercises are better for the brain.
Go exercise! How about working out a complex training to stimulate your brain and strengthen your body?
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