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It’s been well known that the brain shrinks after the age of 40. Researchers have recently shown that regular aerobic exercise aids in maintaining the health of the hippocampus in the brain. This part of the brain deals with memory, recall, and some other functions too. For 24 months participants of different ages performed aerobic exercise several times per week. Researchers concluded that regular aerobic exercise is beneficial to the brain, and that it doesn’t actually increase the size of the brain, but instead helps to prevent deterioration of the hippocampus that commonly occurs with age.

Key Takeaways:

  • Research has shown an increase in rats but no study was done before this for humans
  • Brains typically shrink over time, losing almost 5% by the time you reach age 40.
  • The hypothesis is that brain-derived neurotrophic factor gets released when you exercise and may help with the growth.

“Overall, the results — published in the journal NeuroImage — showed that, while exercise had no effect on total hippocampal volume, it did significantly increase the size of the left region of the hippocampus in humans”

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