Neuroscientist Shane O’Mara recently published his latest book In Praise of Walking (The Guardian, July 28, 2019). In the book, he delves into the most current brain research and what it has to say about the impact of exercise and walking on the brain and memory. In an interview, Dr. O’Mara noted, “Our sensory systems work at their best when they’re moving about the world.” More specifically, “It turns out that the brain systems that support learning, memory and cognition are the same ones that are [negatively] affected by stress and depression.” Regular physical activity helps reduce stress and depression.
Recent research shows that learning and memory are positively impacted by specific brain waves that are boosted by walking and exercising. Physical exercise also increases chemicals in the brain that help it make new connections. These chemicals increase “resilience to ageing, and damage caused by trauma or infection.”
The Bible affirms that there is benefit to exercise in this life (1 Timothy 4:8). Of course, Jesus Christ and His apostles traveled by foot all over the Holy Land during Christ’s ministry and were no strangers to physical exercise. God designed the body with physical needs, and the more that science learns, the more important we realize exercise is—not only to the body, but also to the brain! For more advice on healthful living, read “Bible Principles of Health.”