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Physical Fitness Correlated with Intellectual Fitness

Physical Fitness Correlated with Intellectual Fitness

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 10 September 2019



The connection between the brain, physical and intellectual health.
Physical and Intellectual Health Coorelated. Image from GDJ, Pixabay.


Physical Fitness Correlated with Intellectual Fitness

The Fast and the Curious: Fitter Adults Have Fitter Brains,
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, September 9, 2019.


Fitness is King
"In a large study, German scientists have shown that physical fitness is associated with better brain structure and brain functioning in young adults."

"The scientists used a publicly available database of 1206 MRI brain scans from the Human Connectome Project, which had been contributed by volunteers who wanted to contribute to scientific research."

Physical & Intellectual Testing
"The first test was a "two-minute walking test", where each person was asked to walk as fast as possible for 2 minutes and the distance was then measured. The volunteers then underwent a series of cognitive tests, to measure such things as memory, sharpness, judgement, and reasoning."

Physical MRI Analysis
"...the existence of this large MRI database allowed us to eliminate possibly misleading factors, and strengthened the analysis considerably"

Strong & Smart
"The tests were able to show two main points: better performance on a 2-minute walking test in young healthy adults is associated with better cognitive performance, and with structural integrity of the white matter in the brain: healthy white matter is known to improve the speed and quality of nerve connections in the brain."

Weak & Dull
"It surprised us to see that even in a young population cognitive performance decreases as fitness levels drops. We knew how this might be important in an elderly population which does not necessarily have good health, but to see this happening in 30 year olds is surprising."

Fitness is Smart Brain Protection
"This leads us to believe that a basic level of fitness seems to be a preventable risk factor for brain health."

Get to Work
"This is an important cross-sectional study demonstrating a robust correlation between physical health and cognitive functioning in a large cohort of healthy young adults. This correlation was backed by changes in the white matter status of the brain supporting the notion that better macro-connectivity is related to better brain functioning. It stresses the importance of physical activity at all stages of life and as preliminary recent evidence suggests one can start improving physical health even in later life even if one has never trained before."

Fat & Stupid to Fit & Sharp?
"We see that fitter people have better brain health, so we now need to ask whether actually making people fitter will improve their brain health. Finding this out is our next step."



Bottom Line

Test Yourself... With intellectual and physical challenges. These challenging interactions will keep you mentally sharp and physically healthy as long as you remain physically and intellectually engaged.



Health Research, Cognition & Brain Health


Nov 2017
Kid News; Exercise makes you Smarter? The brains of Fit Children have More Gray Matter


June 2017
Exercise & Cognition


Oct 2016
Exercise & Cognition


Aug 2016
Exercise results in larger brain size and lowered dementia risk


Dec 2015
Study highlights the importance of physical activity and aerobic exercise for healthy brain function


May 2016
Study: Regular exercise at any age might stave off Alzheimer's



Health & Fittness

News of Man & Nature, September 2019








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