Recent reserach has shown that taking moderate exercise, such as Walking, for 40 minutes a few times a week is enough to preserve memory and keep ageing brains on top form.
Professor Kirk Erickson and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh in the US set out to investigate the impact that even moderate exercise might have on preserving memory. The study found that people who did regular moderate aerobic exercise for one year showed increases in the size of their hippocampus, an area of the brain related to memory.
This study was in people aged 55 to 80, comparing the size of the hippocampus on MRI scans and their ability in memory tests following a year of either aerobic exercise or light exercise, including non-aerobic toning exercises and yoga. The aerobic exercise group showed small increases in hippocampal volume compared with the control group, which showed small decreases in volume.
- Erickson KI, Voss MW, Shaurya Prakash R, et al. Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory PNAS 2011, January 31
- Moderate exercise such as walking ‘boosts memory power’ BBC News, February 1 2011
- Exercise in middle age can improve your memory Daily Mail, February 1 2011
- A walk a day can keep dementia at bay, research shows The Daily Telegraph, February 1 2011
- How a little exercise in middle age could help beat dementia Daily Express, February 1 2011