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April 27, 2009 • Brain Health, Fitness

Exercise for a Bigger, Better Brain

Thanks to an amazing body of new science presented over the past decade, we now know that regular physical activity has remarkable benefits for virtually all aspects of brain health and function. Conversely, this same science has established that a sedentary lifestyle is most definitely a powerful risk factor for our 2 most common brain pathologies – namely, dementia and stroke. In my opinion, one of the most riveting new findings of exercise and the brain is how physical activity can actually reverse age-related brain decline. A recent report in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Oct. 08) included a review of a number of published research studies on this subject matter and concluded that regular, moderate exercise that makes a person breathless increases the speed of thinking, the quality of thinking, and most exciting – the actual volume of brain tissue. We now know that even the oldest brains retain plasticity or the capacity to grow new brain cells and forge new brain connections. Bottom line – the fitter you are, the bigger your brain.