Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, Apr 29, 2011

Exercise Good to Your Body and Brain

Filed under: Brain — admin @ 12:30 am

I read this article long ago on brain and exercise by Roni Caryn Rabin, out on 5/13/2008, “For a Sharp Brain, Stimulation.” I dug it out during a recent house cleaning drive. Here are some notes from this reading.

“… studies of older people who have maintained their mental acuity provide some clues. They tend to be socially connected, with strong ties to relatives, friends and community. They are often both physically healthy and physically active. And they tend to be engaged in stimulating or intellectually challenging activities.

“But some interventional studies that have introduced older adults to exercise regimens have reported remarkable results… Six months of exercise will buy you a 15 to 20 percent improvement in memory, decision-making ability and attention,” β€œIt will also buy you increases in the volume of various brain regions in the prefrontal and temporal cortex, and more efficient neuronetworks that support the kind of cognition we examined.”

Regular physical activity may improve brain function, both by increasing blood flow to the brain and stimulating the production of hormones and nerve growth factors involved in neurogenesis. Animal studies have found that physically active animals have better memories and more cells in their hippocampus. Exercise also plays a role in countering diseases like Type 2 diabetes, which increases the risk of dementia. Cholesterol and hypertension, which affect vascular health, also need to be kept in check.”

By now, you should know the take-home message from this article.

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