CogniFit's Science blog: Bulk Up Your Hippocampus With Efficient Physical And Memory Exercise

Bulk Up Your Hippocampus With Efficient Physical And Memory Exercise

Over time there is the undeniable truth that the brain begins to shrink even with the absence of neurocognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia. This does not, however, mean that you have to succumb to the decrease in memory or brain cells.

With efficient memory exercise, it is more than possible to maintain and even increase your memory capacity.

Many fear that as age increases memory decreases. But new research shows that certain parts of the brain can actually be saved from atrophy. On top of this, it can build up with a decent amount of activity late in life as well.

Research that was recently published in proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows it is more than possible to prevent memory decline with the older population. The team conducting the study found that adults aged 55 to 80 years who walked around a track for 40 minutes on three days a week for a year increased the volume of their hippocampus.

The hippocampus is the brain region responsible for memory and spatial reasoning. The same study found no hippocampal growth to older adults who were given a basic stretching routine. This is one sign of evidence that physical exercise can and will have positive implications toward the brain and mind.

Researchers have often thought of the atrophy of the hippocampus in later life as inevitable. But with these new findings, even a moderate amount of exercise for just a single year has been shown to increase the size of the structure.

Given, the increase of the hippocampus was not drastic with a 2.12. percent increase in the left part and 1.97 percent in the right. This would essentially turn back the clock for your memory by one to two years in volume. The stretching group would stay on pace to lose on average 1.4 percent and 1.43 percent in the left and right sides of the hippocampus.

The study did find that when tested on a computerized spatial memory test, both groups improved in accuracy. Along with this, those in the walking group saw growth in the hippocampus that was correlated with improved memory test scores.

Research has been and continues to excel by the day with new discoveries occurring around the brain’s impressive plasticity. This is especially true in its ability to change to accommodate for damaged areas. And these new findings show even the older population can benefit greatly from physical exercise as well as mental and memory training through brain training. Using consistently a computerized program to train your cognitive abilities can significantly help you to train your cognitive abilities and help you delay or reduce memory loss.