Exercise protects against age-related brain shrinkage

Published: January, 2013

If you're looking for ways to prevent age-related mental decline, add exercise to your to-do list. A study published in the October 23, 2012, issue of the journal Neurology finds that exercising several times a week protects the brain from age-related changes even better than social and mentally stimulating activities. The study included 638 Scottish people in their early 70s. The participants filled out a questionnaire about their exercise habits and underwent a brain MRI scan. Those who exercised regularly had less brain shrinkage—including in areas of the brain responsible for thinking ability and memory. This isn't the first study to acknowledge the benefits of physical activity on the brain. And even though it wasn't designed to prove cause and effect, it does offer yet another reason to slip on your sneakers and exercise several days a week.

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