Exercise Study: Great News for Your Brain

Exploring Intensity

Exercise Study: Great News for Your Brain

“Critical” is how this NY Times article describes the connection between exercise and cognitive ability as we age. And a new study shows that this may not be an overstatement.

Let’s start with the acronym Harold, or Hemispheric Asymmetry Reduction (in) Older Adults. It’s kind of a weird acronym, but it essentially means that the older we get the more brain power we need to perform basic functions. While we’re younger, so much of this comes easily, but as we age our brains simply slow down.

But a new study of 60 older Japanese men showed that this slowing was far more pronounced in those who did not exercise. When their brains were hooked up to monitors and they were given cognitive tests, the ones who exercised showed activity in smaller sections of their brains, meaning that they could still perform these functions as if they were younger.

This doesn’t mean that the men whose brains were slower suffered from dementia or any cognitive problems — but it seems that not exercising made their brains have to work harder.

So while you may want to sit at home today and read a book, it’s important to note that you may be able to read with a little more clarity – if you go for a jog first.

On the same topic we highly recommend the book, Spark by John Ratey. Feel free to borrow a copy in our Cardio High library.