Aerobic exercise has always been known to be good for the heart. But recent studies show that it is also beneficial for the brain. If you take regular walks, it can help protect the center of your brain. However, the same researches have also found that stretching exercises can shrink the hippocampus – the center of the brain.
Moreover, regular walking such as three times every week can help increase the volume of the hippocampus. This is important especially for the elderly as it will improve their memory as proven by a control group of mid-60’s men and women who’ve been walking regularly for about a year.
On the contrary, a control group who’ve been taking stretching classes for a year showed a decline in the volume of the hippocampus. This was reported by Dr. Arthur Kramer and his colleagues of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
This research is very useful, especially for the older age group because it shows that there is a way to overcome memory loss. By doing simple exercises such as walking, the age-related decline of the hippocampal can be prevented. It can also improve your health and well-being.
Hippocampus is a major part of the brain and is located on each side, left and right. It belongs to the limbic system and plays an important part in the processing of information from short term to long term memory. Unfortunately, it is one of the parts of the brain which is first to suffer damage such as memory loss and disorientation. Some of the causes of these damages are oxygen starvation and medial temporal lobe epilepsy. When there is extensive damage, you may experience inability to retain or form new memories.
The volume of the hippocampus tends to drop as you grow older, at least 1 or 2 percent every year. This can lead to impaired memory or even dementia if not prevented. Aerobic walking at least 3 times a week can improve your fitness and memory. There is around 2 percent increase in the volume of the hippocampus if simple exercises are performed. If you cannot walk around your village, you may walk on a treadmill and enjoy the same benefits too.
The study conducted by Dr. Kramer and his team showed that their control group showed better memory performance compared to individuals who did not participate in the walking exercise. Aerobic exercises is neuroprotective and a regimen that enhances the cognition of an individual.