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It has been widely accepted that doing brain teasers like sudoku or crosswords can protect against the onset of degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. However there is now a growing amount of evidence that physical exercise is just as important. In a new study by the University of Pittsburgh, on subjects aged between 60 to 80 years, it has been discovered that two crucial parts of the brain (the Hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex) can be regenerated through exercise.
The subjects simply walked briskly for 30-45 minutes a day. The reversal was the equivalent to turning back their biological clock by 1-2 years, but only for those that stuck to the exercise programme for a whole year.
“The results suggest that the brain and cognitive function of older adults remains..highly malleable” said the leader of the study, Professor Kirk Erickson. “There is not this inevitable decline that we thought there was”.
So for those of you with aged relatives or as e all approach older age, let’s get moving!
By Adam Atkinson