The foot-brain connection

How the impact of walking stimulates blood flow in the brain

You can boost your brain health with a few simple steps—literally, just by walking. When your foot hits the ground, the impact sends a backward pressure wave through the arteries, which stimulates blood flow in the brain and optimizes cognitive function, concludes a new study conducted by researchers at New Mexico Highlands University. The medical community used to consider blood supply to the brain to be an involuntary event that wasn’t affected by exercise, though previous studies have suggested that blood in a runner’s arteries are in sync with heart rate and stride. The new study shows that same effect is produced by walking, a much lower-impact activity than running. So, next time you need to do some serious thinking, consider going for a stroll.