They also do not know whether the effects on brain blood flow would be as pronounced among moderate exercisers who quit for 10 days or whether shorter or longer periods of exercise abstinence would have comparable effects.

“I would not want someone to think that if they are on deadline or on vacation for a week or so and don’t manage to work out,” that they have necessarily starved their brains of blood, he says.He also points out that although brain blood flow dropped significantly after the 10 days of rest among the runners, their performance on cognitive tests did not decline.

“We need far more research” into the time course of changes to the brain and to thinking skills because of exercise and skipping workouts, he says.But for now, the study’s message seems fairly straightforward. For the continued health of your brain, try to keep moving.