Exercises for the Development of Cognitive Function






Exercise and Cognitive Function


The most successful people and those that get admiration from many, and they all have something in common. They particularly share one of the most important aspects of life. The the key point is that they have a strong and healthy brain. This category of individuals includes the most renowned doctors, engineers, scientist, physicists, just to mention but a few. These are people with whom many believe have the highest intelligence quotient. What many people might not know is that, for someone to keep such a high level of intellectual brilliance, one need to exercise their brain. Physical fitness is one of the best drivers to a healthy mind. There are proven scientific facts that ultimately support the importance of exercise for optimal functioning of the brain (Aguirre, 2015).

The thesis of this research paper is that physical exercise is important in the development of cognitive function in humans. The report tries to prove beyond reasonable doubt that, engaging in physical work out, the functionality of the brain is significantly improved. To support this theory, there are established and published research papers on the importance of exercise. There is also a record of persons who mainly took place in these studies as specimens and the results were incredible. It is possible to argue that people with the brightest minds are as a cause of inheritance of genes from their parents. This is correct, but for one to fully utilize their capabilities, they have to jog their minds so that they become active and able to solve solutions with ease. The exercises that are linked to the brain are many, and one just needs to find the most useful one for their case and embrace it (Bergland, 2014).

The theory on brain exercises started a long time ago in history. Researchers since time in the past were engaging themselves in trying to find out the importance of exercises to the brain of a human. Since then, this area of study has become widely researched on, and different findings of the same have been published and approved by recognizing health bodies. Even families have taken the initiative and started physical exercises in their homes. The reason is that the parents want to increase the mental ability of their children so that they can become more active and perform better in school. Thus, this is a show that, it is the wish of everyone to have an active brain. The arguments that follow this brief background are accounts of intensive researches that are proven and true (Wilson, 2014).


The first reason to support this thesis is that healers prescribe exercise to the sick people as a form of healing on top of the medicine they give them. Diet and exercise are the two natural cures that are known in history. There is a lot of scientific evidence that depicts the importance of the food we eat. The people of ancient China had such believes regarding diet and exercise. There was a surgeon by the name HuaT’o (100AD) who devised exercises regarding the movement of certain animals including monkeys, cranes, bears, and deer. Exercise is now widely used for preventing diseases, for example, diabetes. Over the past years, neuroscientists have gone to great heights to prove the benefits of exercises on the brain of an individual. There is a notion in neuroscience that experiences shape brains, and it is rather not a fixed collection of cells. There is a scientific fact that people are not born with all the neurons, but generate new ones through exercise. Thus, one has to keep a high production of neurons and be able to keep them active for long. They need to exercise as often as possible so as to keep the regeneration active. An example of these new cells born due to exercise is the hippocampus. This is a region that is mostly used for memory and learning (Chapman, 2015).

There is the uncovering by scientist that when one sweats, there is a simulation of production of an exercise-induced protein known as FNDC5. This neuron is a cause of the production of another protein known as Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor. The protein is used for nourishing the existing neurons and also manages the survival of existing brain cells. This part is particularly used for memory and learning. There is normally the triggering of a biochemical cascade. This is particularly a reason for creating new neurons that can withstand enhanced plasticity of the brain which in turn strengthens the cognitive skills and the memory. Sweat sessions are known to lower the stress levels of individuals, and it even reassembles antidepressants. There is a new study that shows that when one engages in exercise can get rid of blood substances that accumulate when they have stress. These accumulations particularly disrupt plasticity of the neurons thus providing a form of protection of the brain from changes induced by stress (Ma, 2008).

There are also proven evidence that exercises increase the blood flow, which in turn enhances the health of the cerebrovascular. In a research carried out in Beckham Institute at the University of Illinois came to a conclusion that physical activity is part and parcel of the improvement of the white matter integrity. The integrity of the white matter improved in children with ages of 9 to 10 years old and also for the ages of 60 to 78 years. There were findings, which showed that there is an improvement of the white matter in the brain through engaging in physical activities. The integrity of the white matter directly corresponds to a faster conduction of neurons. The activity leads to a cognitive performance that is much superior to the normal brain (Chapman, 2015).

The composition of white matter includes myelinated axons and glial cells. The former forms part of the communication vessel between particular sections of the gray matter which is in the cerebrum. Vascularization capillaries are found in the myelin. The Beckham Institute Director, Arthur Kramer is of the opinion that exercise improves the integrity of the white matter. This condition is because of physical activity which is responsible for pumping of blood across the brain and thus improving vascularization of the capillaries. From this study it is correct to say that physical activity enables the bundling and compacting of the axons in the white matter. Thus, this activity leads to the improvement of the integrity of the matter (Aguirre, 2015).

Student achievements and improvement of classroom behavior are a cause of physical activities that the children take part in. Schools should optimize their curriculum and put in mind the importance of exercising. The learning institutions should not only focus on impacting knowledge to the pupils only. There is a requirement to consider physical exercise in the overall growth of the children. A report released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention clearly shows the importance of physical education. Having physical activities during classroom breaks and actively taking part in plays in a time of recess are key factors in academic performance (Chapman, 2015).

There is a rich source of evidence that engaging in physical activities is an essential contributor to the performance of the students. A study was done by researchers in North Carolina comparing the behavior of pupils in the form of transportation they used when going to school. More often than not, you find parents drive their children to school using their personal cars. Other parents opt to pay for school buses or taxis to take them to school. These forms of transportation involve little or no exercise at all for the pupils. On top of that, there were students who used to walk to school. Others used skateboard while others used their bicycles to ride to school. The ones involved in the physical exercise had a show of high strength when it came to brain activity and responses in class (Bergland, 2014).

Researchers have also engaged in studies that show the relationship between the physical activities with the cognitive performance of the young people in all across their studies. This is from the kindergarten all the way to higher learning institutions. Physical exercise is a big contributor to the ability of children to improve their interpersonal skills together with their motor skills. The result is the increase of attention and also improvement of the capacity to learn new tasks. Irish researchers took a test to see the ability of college students to replicate memory test before and later after a terrible bike road. The results showed that the performance was better after the bike ride than before the students engaged in any physical activity (Bergland, 2014).

Another point to note is that exercise enables the creation and the possibility of maintenance of blood vessels which are healthy. Explanation by Fotuhi is that there is more nourishment of the blood vessels which depicts a network of healthy vascular. On top of that, the communication between the different parts of the brain gets an enhancement. There are also studies on imaging of the brain, which show specific areas that have improved cognitive functions as a result of physical activities. Another study carried out on children between the ages of 8 and 9 years also showed the importance of physical exercises in children. It was a school program that involved 77 minutes of physical activities. After the study, scans took place, and it was evident that there was an improvement of the prefrontal cortex. This particular part is for managing important functions and higher-order thinking (Aguirre, 2015).

More studies have also been done on humans and animals showing that physical exercises lead to the prevention of diseases, for example, the Alzheimer. Engaging in aerobics at regular intervals leads to the improvement of cognitive function. There was an early research that was carried out and it involved the comparison between the brains of mice. The first lot of mice was given access to runners for a long period and the, control group did not take part in any exercise whatsoever. After the research, there was the making of comparison between the runners and the non-runners. The results were that the mice, which took part in the running, had an increase in the nerve cells, especially the ones in the hippocampus. This is an area of the brain that involves memory and learning. A simple activity involving running and navigating through a water maze clearly showed that the runners were in a good position to find their way out (Bergland, 2014).

There is a claim that online brain training can increase the brain activity. People believe that the brain training programs enhance cognitive skills and intelligence. This theory got disputation from the leading brain scientists from two prestigious learning institutions. It was a critic of the companies which sell and promote the use of brain training programs. The scientist categorically denied information that brain games increases the cognitive function of the brain. There are no scientific factors that have proven the ability of these training programs to improve the brain performance (Uscher, 2013).

Through the analyses of the ability of physical exercise to improve cognitive function, it is in order to conclude that the hypothesis is true. There are numerous studies that have taken place to support this fact. The people involved in doing the researches are scientists with great qualifications who have gone to great heights to prove their theory. Thus, just as exercise keeps our bodies in shape, so does it do to our brain? The good thing is that it does not even require a lot of sacrifice to exercise the body. It can take place as a daily routine and it works better if one involves their whole family (Uscher, 2013).
Work cited
Aguirre. C. Your brain on Exercise. , 2015

Bergland. C. Why Is Physical Activity So Good for Your Brain? 2014

Wilson and Conyers. Smart moves: Powering up the brain with physical activity, 2014

Chapman, S., Make Your Brain Smarter, 2015

Uscher, j., Carr, j., Society for Neuroscience. Physical Exercise Beefs Up the Brain, 2013
Ma, Q. Beneficial effects of moderate voluntary physical exercise and its biological
mechanisms on brain health, 2008

Physical Exercise for Brain Health, 2014

Did it help you?

Cite this Page

Exercises for the Development of Cognitive Function. (2022, Mar 01). Retrieved from https://essaylab.com/essays/exercises-for-the-development-of-cognitive-function

Need customer essay sample written special for your assignment?

Choose skilled expert on your subject and get original paper with free plagiarism report

Order custom paper

Without paying upfront