High intensity aerobic activity that requires sustained, repetitive locomotor and navigational skills, aka long distance running, has the power to alter one’s brain connectivity, according to a recent report published on Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
The research article, published on November 29, 2016 and titled “Differences in Resting State Functional Connectivity between Young Adult Endurance Athletes and Healthy Controls,” attests that long-distance running “may stress cognitive domains in ways that lead to altered brain connectivity, which in turn has implications for understanding the beneficial role of exercise for brain and cognitive function over the lifespan.”
David A. Raichlen was the lead author on the report.
22 healthy young adults, 18-25 years of age, were recruited to participate in the study. Then using an organized endurance run, physical activity questionnaire and calculated fitness score, the results suggested participation in “high levels of aerobic activity in young adulthood is associated with differences in resting state functional connectivity in networks known to be linked to executive function and motor control compared with more sedentary individuals.”
In other words, attentional control, working memory, reasoning, problem solving and planning in long-distance runners would prove to be far superior to your average yet healthy non-moving Jane or Joe.