What would you say if I told you that a new study shows that 3 hours of aerobic exercise a day could bolster your memory and your intellect?
Dementia is not a normal part of aging. New research indicates that physical fitness has a great impact on the level of brain function. Makes you want to put on your walking shoes doesn’t it?
An article by Sharon Begley in The Wall Street Journal (Thursday, November 16, 2006) suggests that aerobic exercise can indeed bolster your memory and intellect. The author suggests that regular aerobic exercise like walking, biking or swimming can be just as important as mentally stimulating games when it comes to thwarting mental decline.
Aerobic exercise apparent increases blood flow to the brain and triggers biochemical changes that increase the production of new brain neurons. That sounds like good news to me!
New studies indicate that seniors who take up aerobic exercise show improved cognitive function after just a few months. After three months the people who started an exercise program had the brain volume of people three years younger. Thanks to modern technology such as MRI testing, the brain volume can actually be measured. In a study neither the stretcher-and-toners nor the couch potatoes showed any brain changes, but the aerobic exercisers did. I find all of this very encouraging.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to do your crossword puzzles, read, learn languages or other forms of mental gymnastics, but keep on exercising too. It is certainly worth a shot!