What has always been known as a cornerstone of good health and exercise, a new study reveals that jogging outside may actually have some detrimental effects on the brain.
While it is known to clear the mind, jogging outside in busy, traffic-filled areas could actually cause mental decline.
According to Belgian researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, people who live in a city and exercise outdoors have higher levels of inflammation and lower scores on cognitive tests than those who jog in the suburbs.
In a study, they separated exercisers into two groups who exercised three times a week for 12 weeks, between midday and 1 PM.
One group alternated and walking in a busy, urban area – the other in a rural location.
The researchers then gave the joggers a test to measure their response time and attention span.
They found that high levels of air pollution in the city prevented participants from getting some of the brain-boosting benefits of exercise, such as the ability to absorb new information and a reduced chance of mental health problems.
The city joggers also had significantly higher blood levels of some inflammation markers, Men’s Health magazine reported.
This is important because inflammation in the brain is associated with mental illness.
The question is, were the people who decided jogging outside in a traffic-filled area already mentally ill, or did the jogging drive them to mental illness?
Stephen Willard | Elite.