Exercise keeps the brain from shrinking as we age : TreeHugger

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The average brain shrinks by approximately five percent every decade after the age of 40; but aerobic exercise significantly helps maintain volume, says new study.

It’s kind of funny; we’re all looking for a silver bullet to boost health and stay sharp, but it’s there right in front of us. Exercise! Study after study touts the enormous benefits exercise has to offer, the latest confirming that aerobic exercise can improve memory function and maintain brain health as we age.

Researchers from Australia’s National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University and the Division of Psychology and Mental Health at the University of Manchester in the UK looked at the effects of aerobic exercise on the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is essential for memory and other brain functions.

As brain health starts its slow decline at around the age of 40, the average brain begins shrinking by around five per cent each decade thereon. Animal studies have shown that exercise actually increases the size of the hippocampus, but until now proof that the same occurs for humans has been inconsistent.

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