How does exercise impact cognitive function?

Hearty Team
Feb 13, 2023

Did you know that exercise has emerged as a promising behavioral approach for enhancing cognitive function and reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline? A recent narrative review discussed why this might be.

Exercise has systemic health benefits in people, in part, through improving whole body insulin sensitivity. The brain is an insulin-sensitive organ that is often under-discussed relative to skeletal muscle, liver, and adipose tissue.

Study Summary 

This recent research found that: 

  • Brain insulin action impacts weight regulation as well as mental health. 
  • Brain insulin signaling is also involved in processes that support healthy cognition.
  • Brain insulin resistance has been associated with age-related declines in memory and executive function, as well as Alzheimer disease pathology.

The Hearty Take

Based on these findings, it is important to maintain quality insulin sensitivity in the brain to support cognitive function. To support brain insulin sensitivity, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, manage your stress and weight, as well as prioritize 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Need help forming healthy habits? Reach out to your care team. 

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