Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Walk to Remember

According to an article in January 2, 2011 Parade,  walking isn't just good for your waistline, it benefits your memory too.  A new study that followed 299 adults for 13 years found that walking six to nine miles a week may stop your brain from shrinking as you age.

"Exercise increase the amount of blood going to the brain," says lead study author Kirk Erickson, a University of Pittsburgh professor.  "This means that more of the important nutrients necessary for the brain to function are distributed."

Researchers found that the more participants walked, the more gray matter they retained (though exceeding nine miles a week provided no additional benefits). Those who walked the most had half the risk of developing memory problems as those who walked the least. "Some loss of brain matter is normal with age," Erickson says.  "But with increased exercise, the parts of the brain that support memory function , the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, are spared.  The earlier you start exercising, the better, but it's never too late," he adds.  "Any amount you do will help."

This study simply advises the entire family to get out and take a walk and keep increasing the blood flow to the brain.

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