Going for walks can make all the difference. Research shows that walking for 40 minutes a few times a week helps preserve memory and keeps ageing brains in top form.
Moderate exercise increased the size of the hippocampus – an area of the brain that creates memories in 120 volunteers.
The year long trial, publised in proceedings of the national academy of sciences, showed performance on memory tests also improved.
Exercise may buffer against dementia as well as age related memory loss. This latest work looked at healthy people in their 60s rather than people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
Dr Simon Ridley of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust said that although the study does not look at memory loss in Alzheimer’s or dementia, it suggests “it’s never too late to start exercising to help keep our brain healthy.
“even modest exercise may improve memory and help protect the brain from normal decline caused by ageing.”
“Increasing evidence suggests regular exercise and a healthy diet may help reduce our risk of developing dementia as well as reaping numerous other benefits from living a healthy lifestyle.”