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Does Martial Arts Improve Brain Health?

April 28, 2014

Physical activity plays a positive role in brain health.

Regular exercise enhances memory and refines thinking skills. According to a study by the University of British Columbia, physical activity such as martial arts appears to increase the size of the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the brain area that involves verbal memory and learning.

This is good news for a person with or at risk of developing dementia. This brain-related illness involves the loss of mental functions, including thinking and memory. On a global scale, one new case of dementia is detected every four seconds. In short, researchers estimate that over 115 million people have dementia all over the world.

The Harvard Health Publication explains that exercise releases chemicals in the brain that affect the health, growth, and survival of brain cells. Therefore, individuals at risk of developing dementia may consider enrolling in a martial arts course.

A Kinesiology researcher at the University of Maryland School of Public Health conducted a study that revealed physical activity protects brain health and prevents shrinkage of the hippocampus.