When we exercise, we think about achieving many things: increasing lean body mass, losing fat, looking great, feeling great, heart health, etc. But, did you know that engaging in regular aerobic exercise can prevent and possibly even reverse a decline in brain power?
New research coming out in the British Journal of Sports Medicine by Art Kramer and Kirk Erickson have reported on a large volume of research that show how aerobic exercise and physical activity can be beneficial to the brain. Cognitive decline occurs in activities called ‘executive control’: task coordination, planning, goal maintenance, working memory and the ability to switch tasks.
By engaging in regular exercise, you can improve the speed and sharpness of thought and can actually increase the volume of brain tissue. Researchers note that exercise bouts need to be hard enough to make you breath hard. These improvements benefit healthy individuals as well as those with existing brain disease such as Alzheimer’s. In physically fit post menopausal women, brain power and memory remain strong compared to less fit women.
An active lifestyle with regular aerobic exercise generally improves cognitive function and executive control activities and reverses neural decay associated with an aging brain. Keeping your body fit and healthy keeps your brain fit and healthy!