Brain Health, Exercise and Brain Health

Run Away From Holiday Stress

The first week of December always seems to creep up on me. How is it time for the holidays again already? While I love the energy and joy and connection of this season…I also get weary from the overload of Christmas chaos.

Those special holiday parties and concerts and programs can be delightful in the moment yet exhausting over the long haul. And an overloaded brain responds with fatigue and forgetfulness. Yet we need to be sharper than ever with December expectations upon us. So what to do?

Lace up those running shoes and run away from the holiday stress!

It’s true: the effects of chronic stress on the memory center of the brain can be reduced by running. Researchers at Brigham Young University investigated the impact of stress on the connections between neurons in groups of mice who were either sedentary or who ran 5 km per day on a running wheel. The mice who ran every day did not have weakened synapses despite being subjected to stres

What does this mean for us? If exercise keeps the neuronal connections in the hippocampus intact, even when we are exposed to stress, our memory won’t suffer as much. And especially during the holidays, a sharper brain is a more joyful brain!


Terissa Michele Miller, MS Psy

Check out the original research:

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