Stephanie Fungsang

Occupational Therapist (OTR/L)

Inspiration for Your Aerobic Exercise Practice!


We all know that the benefits of exercise are wide and varied, positively impacting everything from how we feel to how our brains form and develop. Well, I often find it extra encouraging to discover that there is (even more) data behind the claims, both for the knowledge gained, and because I am optimistic about how it helps support and signal the shifting views on the importance of physical activity, especially for children. Just knowing that research is being conducted on the benefits of moving our bodies, in any form, is so exciting! 

My own enthusiasm aside, I encourage you to read the NYTimes link below for a quick summation of a new article in the Journal of Physiology, which further reveals the benefits of different types of exercise on the brain (Nokia, et al., 2016). The recently published study showed that aerobic exercise, such as jogging, is more effective than high intensity interval training and weight training, when it comes to neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons) within the hippocampus. While these researchers specifically highlighted the association between aerobic exercise and hippocampal growth, HIIT and resistance training certainly have their fair share of benefits as well.  Just another good reminder to cross train and diversify your exercise routine.

So next time you feel unmotivated to go out for a jog, just think of how good it is for your hippocampus! And how good you'll feel afterwards... (I have to remind myself of this all the time)

Click this link to read Gretchen Reynolds's article in the New York Times (Feb. 17, 2016):  "Which Type of Exercise is Best for the Brain?"


Nokia, M. S., Lensu, S., Ahtiainen, J. P., Johansson, P. P., Koch, L. G., Britton, S. L., & Kainulainen, H. (2016). Physical exercise increases adult hippocampal neurogenesis in male rats provided it is aerobic and sustained. The Journal of physiology.