How Exercise Could Lead to a Better Brain
The value of mental-training games may be speculative, as Dan Hurley writes in his article on the quest to make ourselves smarter, but there is another, easy-to-achieve, scientifically proven way to make yourself smarter. Go for a walk or a swim.
For more than a decade, neuroscientists and physiologists have been gathering evidence of the beneficial relationship between exercise and brainpower. But the newest findings make it clear that this isn’t just a relationship; it is the relationship. Using sophisticated technologies to examine the workings of individual neurons — and the makeup of brain matter itself — scientists in just the past few months have discovered that exercise appears to build a brain that resists physical shrinkage and enhance cognitive flexibility. Exercise, the latest neuroscience suggests, does more to bolster thinking than thinking does.
Small Amount of Exercise Could Protect Against Memory Loss in Elderly, Study Suggests
A new University of Colorado Boulder study shows that a small amount of physical exercise could profoundly protect the elderly from long-term memory loss that can happen suddenly following infection, illnesses or injury in old age.
In the study, CU-Boulder Research Associate Ruth Barrientos and her colleagues showed that aging rats that ran just over half a kilometer each week were protected against infection-induced memory loss.
Source: Small Amount of Exercise Could Protect Against Memory Loss in Elderly, Study Suggests – University of Colorado, Boulder, August 9, 2011
Exercise: In Women, Training for a Sharper Mind
Older women who did an hour or two of strength training exercises each week had improved cognitive function a year later, scoring higher on tests of the brain processes responsible for planning and executing tasks, a new study has found.
Researchers in British Columbia randomly assigned 155 women ages 65 to 75 either to strength training with dumbbells and weight machines once or twice a week, or to a comparison group doing balance and toning exercises.