Science finally investigates what we've known all along!
This shouldn't shock anyone. Science has again confirmed that physical activity improves our overall health. In a recent study looking at the brain function of adults, results suggested that adults who are active, eat healthy, drink plenty of fluids, get outdoors and exercise show higher brain functionality. Basically, we're smarter. But we already knew that.
This study looked at how activity levels impact the way the body, and particularly the brain, ages. The most surprising discovery in the study is that people who follow those simple steps retain executive function of the brain for a longer portion of their lives.
Executive function is a term used to describe the highest level of cognitive activity in the brain. Our executive systems play a large role in who we are, how we organize our lives, and how we plan and execute complex behaviors and activities. According to the University of California, San Francisco, executive functions are often divided into two categories: Organization and Regulation. The organization portion includes things like our attention, planning and problem solving capabilities, working memory, abstract thinking and sensory information. Regulation oversees the initiation of action, self control, emotional regulation, moral reasoning, and decision making.
The original study suggests that our level physical activity, like hiking, biking, hunting, climbing, and other outdoor sports, is closely related to how well we maintain these executive functions.
As outdoorsmen and women, we now officially have the only excuse we'll ever need to get outdoors and grab our hunting or hiking gear. "It's for my health, dear."