Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Exercise and Your Brain
If you could only do one thing to help your brain, do you know what that would be? Physical exercise! According to Art Kramer, PhD, U of Illinois professor psychology and neuroscience, higher exercise levels can reduce risk of dementia by 30-40 percent and substantially lower risk of Alzheimer's disease (compared with low activity levels). Physical exercise helps the hippocampus, your brain's search engine, which tends to shrink with age. This, in turn, can lead to memory loss. Physical activity can also trigger the growth of new nerve cells. Even a little bit of exercise can help. As little as 15 minutes of regular exercise three times a week has been shown in some studies to help maintain brain health. You can always do something. Even if you are chair-bound, you may be able to do arm exercises and get the blood circulating through your brain at an increased rate. So get moving!