Gyms of the Future – Good for Body, Good for Brain by Dr Jack Lewis

Exercise is good for health, we all know that. That said it is also clear that the whole world is utterly fixated on the benefits to the body. The considerable potential benefits of physical exercise for the brain are invariably overlooked. As proof of these benefits continues to trickle in and the exact mechanisms by which exercise improves brain function gradually makes itself apparent, I’m guessing we’ll find ourselves increasingly inclined to take regular exercise for our brain’s sake.

Hold On To Your Grey Matter – Take a Walk by Dr Jack

Although we cannot halt the inexorable process of grey matter loss completely, the good news is that we can slow its progression. This month a study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and published in the journal “Neurology” describes the influence of regular exercise on the rate of reduction of brain volume and cognitive function in 299 elderly individuals.
It was observed that those individuals of this group of average age 78 who walked in excess of 6 miles per week had a significantly reduced rate of grey matter loss and consequently a lower incidence of cognitive decline. The greater the distance walked each week, the smaller the reduction in volume over a 9 year period within their frontal lobe, occipital lobe, entorhinal cortex and critically, in the hippocampus.
This begs the question – how and why does exercise slow down the rate at which grey matter shrinks?