We are always bombarded with online games wanting us to exercise our brains. Is it really helpful? Research does support that exercising your brain can help it. How? When you do stimulate your brain, you generate new cells and other changes are initiated. If you do not stimulate your brain, then negative changes can happen.
Why not exercising your brain is bad for you?
Studies conducted in animals reveal that being idle changes the shape of certain neurons not only affecting the brain but the heart as well. Researchers have discovered that the brain can constantly evolve and be reshaped. This is in contrast to a popular belief held about twenty years ago that stated that brain was fixed by adulthood.
Scientists wanted to prove the theory that leading a sedentary lifestyle would affect the neurons in the brain negatively and your heart. They took 12 lab rats and put half of them in cages with running wheels and the other half didn’t have any equipment in their cages. They let the animals be for about three months. After that time period was up, the rats were injected with a special dye that colors certain neurons in the brain.
The rats that had the running wheels in their cages as opposed to the rats who were being very inactive for three months did not have any changes to the shape of the original neurons in the brain. The neurons looked and functioned just as normal as they had in the beginning of the study. The rats who were inactive and did not have the running wheels in their cages had irregular-shaped arms called branches that had sprouted off of the neurons. These neurons had more branches than they were supposed to. This meant that the neurons could not deliver appropriate messages to the nervous system and throughout the body.
Sadly, the neurons had changed in such a dramatic way that it over-stimulated the nervous system ultimately increasing blood pressure and contributing to heart disease.
While these are animals and not humans, many researchers believe that overall affect is still the same. Not exercising your brain can lead to physiological changes in your body. So, it is important to stimulate your brain and exercise. This will prove beneficial in the long run.