Physical Exercise Keeps the Brain Connected: Biking Increases White Matter Integrity in Patients With Schizophrenia and Healthy Controls

We demonstrate that irrespective of diagnosis regular physical exercise of an overlearned skill, such as bicycling, significantly increases the integrity, especially of motor functioning related, white matter fiber tracts whereas life-as-usual leads to a decrease in fiber integrity.

Our findings imply that exercise of an overlearned physical skill improves brain connectivity in patients and healthy individuals.

This has important implications for understanding the effect of fitness programs on the brain in both healthy subjects and patients with schizophrenia. Moreover, the outcome may even apply to the nonphysical realm.


Haven’t been on a bike for about 34 years. Took me till I was nearly 14 to be able to ride one.
Even then I only cycled round our rather quiet village. There is no way I could cope with cycling in a busy city/town area.
I’ve heard that some people get a lot of benefit from it.

White matter, grey matter, exercise is exercise and if you exercise adequately enough, to where you have built up a good sweat, that is when your mood lifts and tends to have lasting positive effect all day.