Yesterday, I shared some new research that tied fatty liver to a faster shrinking brain. I also explained why diet — and more specifically, my A-List Diet — is your golden ticket out of this self-imposed crisis.
What I didn’t mention is that exercise is every bit as critical to this fight. So consider the results of the following new study your reminder…
Researchers from Australia and the UK teamed up recently to examine the impact that aerobic exercise might have on age-related cognitive decline. (And specifically, on the size of the hippocampus — your brain’s memory center.)
They reviewed 14 different human trials, including the brain scans of more than 700 subjects — a mix of healthy adults, patients with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s, and patients with diagnosed mental illness. Ages ranged anywhere from 24 to 76, but skewed older, with an average age of 66.
Brain imaging was taken both before and after exercise to gauge its effects. Workouts included stationary biking, walking, and treadmill runs. And training programs ranged between two and five days a week, for anywhere from three months to two years.
The average brain starts shrinking roughly five percent per decade by the age of 40. But the results of this review showed that exercise increases the size of the brain’s left hippocampal region significantly, appearing to slam the brakes on this decline.
Translation: Exercise keeps your brain bigger — and your memory sharper, because of it.
It makes perfect sense — and not just because of the circulation boost a daily workout offers. As the lead researcher behind this study explained, aerobic exercise also triggers the release of a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor — a protein responsible for promoting neuron survival and maintenance.
In other words, that daily walk around the block doubles as a steady stream of anti-aging medicine directly to your brain. One that’s more powerful — and better proven — than anything Big Pharma’s currently pushing.
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