In addition to benefitting your heart and muscles, a regular
walk also contributes to keeping your brain healthy, new research
The foot’s impact during walking sends pressure waves through
the arteries that significantly modify and can increase the supply
of blood to the brain, according to the study presented at the
American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting at Experimental
Biology 2017 in Chicago.
In the study, the researchers from New Mexico Highlands
University used non-invasive ultrasound to measure hemispheric
cerebral blood flow or CBF to both sides of the brain of 12 healthy
young adults during standing upright, rest and steady walking (one
metre/second). But if you want to know the secret
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The researchers found that though there is lighter foot impact
associated with walking compared with running, walking still
produces large pressure waves in the body that significantly
increase blood flow to the brain.
While the effects of walking on CBF were less dramatic than
those caused by running, they were greater than the effects seen
during cycling, which involves no foot impact at all.
“New data now strongly suggest that brain blood flow is very
dynamic and depends directly on cyclic aortic pressures that
interact with retrograde pressure pulses from foot impacts,” the
“There is a continuum of hemodynamic effects on human brain
blood flow within pedalling, walking and running. Speculatively,
these activities may optimise brain perfusion, function, and
overall sense of wellbeing during exercise,” the researchers
In a separate study published last year in the journal Open
Science, a team of researchers from Australia and South Africa
showed that the evolution of human intelligence was not simply
related to the size of the brain but rather linked more closely to
the supply of blood to the brain.
To allow our brain to be intelligent, it must be constantly fed
oxygen and nutrients from the blood, the researchers said.
With Inputs From IANS