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Walking Your Way to a Better Memory

Posted on 02/14/2011 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

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walking-signIt might not be that surprising to find that exercise could improve one’s mental sharpness — but getting serious proof that taking daily walks can literally increase your brain size?

Aerobic exercise keeps the aging brain — as well as the aging body — in fighting form. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Illinois, Rice University and Ohio State showed that a program of aerobic exercise, over the course of a year, can increase the size of the hippocampus — a part of the brain key to memory and spatial navigation — in adults ages 55 to 80.

The hippocampus is known to shrink in late adulthood, leading to memory impairment.

Check out the rest about how the research team used 120 older folks to conduct their study, and the pretty awesome findings they discovered. If there’s one lesson to take from this, it’s that exercise later in life is still critical in maintaining physical — and mental — health.