Did you know that you are building your brain every time you exercise? It’s true. Aerobic exercise not only strengthens the heart, but it has been shown to also help your brain functions, such as memory. Even moderate exercise will help both and keep you healthy.
Researchers have been monitoring what exercise does for the body and they have found that regular aerobics, such as walking, could protect and shrink the hippocampus, the brain’s memory centre. Studies have shown that people in the mid-60s who walk at least three times a week for one year saw increased volume in the brain centre, allowing them to have better spatial memory retention. Stretching helped shrink the hippocampus, allowing it to function better and improve memory.
The research offers hope for age-related hippocampal issues, suggesting that many of these issues can be overcome with moderate exercise. Not only can a person remain physically fit, they will be able to stay mentally fit as well. Studies in animals suggest that the lower volume of the hippocampus, the better the preservation of memory is. The same studies, done on humans, have shown the same results. Basically, if you exercise regularly and moderately, you could stave off issues such as dementia.
No matter how old you are, aerobic exercise is important. Even if you start an exercise regimen later in life, it is not a futile effort. It allows you to enhance your cognitive ability and augment your brain volume. Researchers like to say that aerobic exercise is neuroprotective.
So how does walking help the heart? It protects against just about every cardiovascular disease known to man and helps it function more efficiently, providing better oxygen to the body. When you use exercise to train your heart and lungs to work better, you push more oxygen to your organs, muscles and limbs. Walking, running, swimming and aerobics helps make the heart pump more forcefully and when at rest, it beats less because it’s not working as hard as someone with diminished cardiac output. The better your heart works, the less likely you are to be affected by stress, blood clots and other cardiac issues.
All you need is 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day to keep your heart pumping well and increase your brain capacity. It will help you reduce your weight, reduce stress and keep you healthy. It’s never too late to start exercising.