Can Running Make You Smarter?
We all know running is good for our health, but could running possibly impact our mental health and increase intelligence in ways similar to playing an instrument? A study published by the University of Arizona compared the brains of young adult cross-country runners and young adults who do not partake in regular physical activity. They found that the runners brains showed greater ‘functional connectivity’ described as ‘connections between distinct brain regions -- within several areas of the brain, including the frontal cortex, which is important for cognitive functions such as planning, decision-making and the ability to switch attention between tasks.’ These benefits have been seen in activities that require ‘fine motor control and high levels of hand eye coordination ,’ activities such playing an instrument and golf. Even though running in a repetitive motion unlike playing an instrument and golf it has been shown to have similar effects on the brain. Researchers even believe running as a young adult may even help prevent the altered functional connectivity seen in Alzheimer’s in their latter years. With all of running's age and disease prevention effects why not lace them up today for a better tomorrow.