Los Angeles, CA – 11/14/2013—
While it’s long been said that aerobic activityimproves brain function, science has now done studies that have proved theconnection between physical activity and improved cognition.
The research involved sedentary adults between theages of 57-75 who were randomized into groups that either performed physicalactivity or remained sedentary. Thephysical activity group participated in aerobic exercises on a bike or atreadmill for approximately one hour, three times a week (the currentrecommendations for physical activity).
In the middle of the study and at the end of 12weeks, the participants’ cognition was tested and measurements were taken onresting blood flow to the brain and cardiovascular health. When compared with the control group, thosewho engaged in physical activity during the course of the study were found tohave improved memory performance and increased blood flow to the hippocampusarea of the brain – the key region affected by diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
“Physical exercise may be one of the mostbeneficial and cost-effective therapies widely available to everyone to elevatememory performance,” said University of Texas at Dallas Center for Brain Healthchief director Sandra Bond. “These findingsshould motivate adults of all ages to start exercising aerobically.”
Chapman did mention that while physical activity isassociated with selective blood flow to the brain, more complex mental trainingpractices can increase global brain flow for improvements in overall cognitivehealth rather than just memory and recall. Either way, the results and idea that those who are active can improvememory function and hold-off various diseases is encouraging and should inspireeveryone to get moving.
Chapman in particular was very encouraged by theresults. “To think we can alter andimprove the basic structure of the mature brain through aerobic exercise andcomplex thinking should inspire us to challenge our thinking and get moving atany age.”
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