Today I bought The Times

OK – that’s not a big deal you say – but let me tell you it is – basically I am a Guardian reader – its the backdrop of my life – I learnt how to be a feminist (and how to move on) and just about everything else from The Guardian, in fact, the day is not complete without my newspaper – even though it now costs a staggering amount.

Marion ForemanBut today I bought The Times (as well) – why?  Because it has an interesting article in it that I wanted to share with you all. Of course its about exercise!! Exercise and ageing – issues close to my heart (pun intended!).

“Exercise is essential to ‘grow back your brain”’ the headline shouts.  An American study has been able to show that taking a brisk walk three or four times a week can effectively ‘grow back your brain’.  This helps to reverse early signs of neurodegneration and improve performance on memory tests.  So, lets be clear – not only does exercise slow down the brain ageing – it can even help to reverse the process! Seriously, what’s not to like?

A brisk walk outside three times a week – even anecdotally we know we feel better after a ‘bit of fresh air’.  The American study was only on 120 people, of which half undertook the walking and half did stretching.  The walking group after 12 months showed improvements that the stretching group didn’t.  It is possible that the improved blood supply to the brain helped or that exercise enhances ‘the activity of genes that trigger the growth of new connections between neurons’. Why not give it a go? Diary in half an hour’s walking – yes, I know we are all busy – but if we want it enough we can find time.

If I can save myself some of the anguish that my mother went through as she slid remorselessly into a bewildering world of half recognised memories I’ll pop my trainers on and head off out.

See also  Mindfulness and weight loss

Catch my next blog for more hints on keeping your brain intact!


About Marion Foreman

I fall neatly into the ‘women who weren’t born yesterday’ category. I grew up in a turmoil of Guardian fuelled feminism. I went from ‘little woman’ to independent person in a decade. I began my nurse training in the early 70s in the midst of a male dominated university town. I convinced myself that my views must be wrong as the ultra clever men didn’t agree with me. It wasn’t until I did my degree with the OU that I realised that I had a voice – and a legitimate voice at that. Four children and three husbands later I have found my place in the world. A place that simply says that I am who I am, that I can choose my own path in life and choose those who walk with me. I have learnt that equality means making and taking opportunities, not feeling compelled to ‘do it all’.

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