Volume 3 Issue 3

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 57

Page 38 | Abby's Magazine - E xercise can keep your brain sharp as you age. A new study has shown that a program of exercise can, over the course of a year, increase the size of your hippocampus, a part of the brain key to memory and spatial navigation. The hippocampus often shrinks in late adulthood, leading to memory impairment. According to the Los Angeles Times: "To complete the study, the team recruited 120 older people who didn't exercise regularly. Half were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise program. The group doing aerobic exercise has increases in hippocampus volume: up 2.12 percent in the left hippocampus, and 1.97 percent in the right hippocampus." Regular exercise can also improve the ability of overweight children to think, plan, and even do math, according to other recent research. MRIs have shown that previously inactive children who start to exercise experience increased brain activity in the prefrontal cortex, an area associated with complex thinking, decision-making, and correct social behavior. The more they exercise, the better the result. Eurekalert reports: "Intelligence scores increased an average 3.8 points in those exercising 40 minutes per day after school for three months with a smaller benefit in those exercising 20 minutes daily. Activity in the part of their brain responsible for so-called executive function also increased in children who exercised. Similar improvements were seen in math skills." The Rise of "Western" Degenerative Brain Disease While the consensus is no single cause can be blamed for the alarming increase in neurological diseases in Western nations like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or age-related dementia, or Attention Deficit Disorder or Autism-spectrum disorders in our children, a sedentary lifestyle now appears to be at least a contributing factor. Some of the other suspected contributors to the rise in neurological disorders are some common and widespread man- made chemicals lurking in your food supply: Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, pesticides, and MSG. Avoiding these and other synthetic chemicals as much as possible will help to lower your chances of becoming one of the unfortunate people who suffer from a neurological disorder. But one of the best things you can do for your brain as a preventative measure is to keep active through exercise. According to another study at the Mayo Clinic that involved 1,324 elderly adults, those who said they had engaged in moderate exercise such as brisk walking, aerobics, yoga, strength training or swimming in their 40s, 50s and beyond were less apt to have mild cognitive impairment. As you age, you don't want to find yourself facing cognitive impairment. Why? Each year ten to fifteen percent of people suffering from mild cognitive impairment will develop dementia, compared to just one to two percent of the general population. Stopping cognitive impairment in its tracks seems to be a very successful predictor of whether Exercise: A Simple Way to Radically Increase Your Brain Power

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Abby's - Volume 3 Issue 3