Neuroplasticity, the nervous system’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neuronal connections, shows that the human brain is adaptable, capable of modifying its structure and function in response to the environment. It was once believed that neuroplasticity was a process exclusive to young brains, but current science has demonstrated that it occurs at any age, allowing any brain to create new neuronal connections.
Often, memory exercises are recommended for cognitive stimulation, emphasizing the importance of challenging memory and cognitive skills. However, scientific evidence now reveals that physical exercise is crucial in promoting cerebral neuroplasticity. Physical activity activates physiological and neurochemical processes that directly impact neuronal plasticity.
On one hand, regular exercise induces significant changes in the brain, such as increased cerebral blood flow, the release of neurotrophic factors and neurotransmitters (like brain-derived neurotrophic factor and endorphins), and modifications in neuronal connections. These changes contribute to the formation of new synapses, improve synaptic efficiency, and strengthen existing neuronal pathways.
On the other hand, it has been shown that individuals who maintain a regular exercise routine exhibit improvements in executive function, working memory, and long-term memory. Various studies suggest that memorization improves when physical exercise is performed within 4 hours after learning. Moreover, these benefits seem to extend to a reduction in the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
Therefore, including regular physical activity in daily life is essential for promoting long-term brain health. From aerobic exercises to resistance and flexibility activities, each form of physical exercise offers unique benefits for cerebral neuroplasticity.