Walking creates pressure waves that boost brain blood flow

Keep walking! It’s good not only for your heart but for your brain too

Keep walking! It’s good not only for your heart but for your brain too

Going for a daily walk has been shown to be an excellent way to fight stress, improve health, and help keep you sane, but until now scientists really didn't know how the simple act of perambulating gives us so many great benefits.

It's well known that walking has beneficial effects on the body in general.

Researchers from New Mexico Highlands University used non-invasive ultrasound to measure hemispheric cerebral blood flow or CBF to both sides of the brain of 12 healthy young adults during standing upright, rest and steady walking (one metre/second).

That's the conclusion of a small study that found the impact of a foot while walking sends pressure waves through the arteries that increases blood supply to the brain. They discovered that, even though you hit with a lighter step when walking, it creates a bigger pressure wave than running and boosts blood flow to the brain even more.

The NMHU research team and others previously found that the foot's impact during running (4-5 G-forces) caused significant impact-related retrograde (backward-flowing) waves through the arteries that sync with the heart rate and stride rate to dynamically regulate blood circulation to the brain. "New data now strongly suggest that brain blood flow is very dynamic and depends directly on cyclic aortic pressures that interact with retrograde pressure pulses from foot impacts", the researchers wrote. The researchers wrote that due to their study, they have finally measured foot impacts and its effects on blood flow. "Speculatively, these activities may optimize brain perfusion, function, and overall sense of wellbeing during exercise". This event modifies and increases the blood supply to the brain. "Stride rates and their foot impacts are within the range of our normal heart rates (about 120/minute) when we are briskly moving along".

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