As you age, memory loss is typically inevitable. But among the things that you can do to help prevent memory loss (such as increasing one’s vitamin B-12 intake, lowering stress levels, and participating in brain-engaging activities), a healthy habit that can also help keep your mind sharp is exercise.
Exercise, which is something that everyone should work into their daily routine, has been clinically proven to help aid in memory loss prevention and to help improve one’s learning abilities. In fact, studies performed by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute show that voluntary running can actually produce new neurons and nerve cells that can help improve one’s learning and memory capabilities. Previously, it had not been discovered that new neuron growth was capable of happening in an adult’s brain, but research has shown otherwise.
While a person performs aerobic exercises, with the heart pumping rapidly, they increase the blood flow to the area of the brain that deals with memory and learning. In addition to allowing your brain to regenerate nerve cells, exercise also helps increase the level of endorphins within your body and helps to relieve stress, which is another factor that has a negative effect on one’s memory. Stress increases the production of the hormone cortisol, which can affect one’s cognitive behavior and memory processes. In addition to a nutritious diet and happy lifestyle, exercise can provide a number of benefits that can lead to a long, healthy life.
So go ahead, lace up those running shoes, and hit the pavement–not only for your physical well-being, but for your mental well-being, as well.