By Guest Nicole
Exercise changes the brains and sperm of male animals in ways that later affect the brains and thinking skills of their offspring, according to a fascinating new study involving mice.
The findings indicate that some of the brain benefits of physical activity may be passed along to children, even if a father does not begin to exercise until adulthood.
We already have plenty of scientific evidence showing that exercise is good for our brains, whether we are mice or people. Among other effects, physical activity can strengthen the connections between neurons in the hippocampus, a crucial part of the brain involved in memory and learning. Stronger neuronal connections there generally mean sharper thinking.
Studies also indicate that exercise, like other aspects of lifestyle, can alter how genes work — whether and when they get turned on or off, for instance — and those changes can get passed on to children. This process is known as epigenetics.
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