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