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According to a recent survey, conducted by researchers from 4 universities in the USA (Pittsburgh, Illinois, Rice and Ohio), running is one of the best ways to keep your brain younger and more efficient. In this research, performed under the supervision of Kirk Erickson, Director of the Beckman Institute, the final conclusion was that aerobic exercise can significantly improve human memory and brain functions.
Specifically, the research published by the Beckman Institute in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that 120 volunteers aged 55 to 80 years, who until then followed a sedentary lifestyle and were not suffering from dementia, were divided into two groups: members of the first group performed aerobic exercise 3 times a week for 40 minutes each time, while those in the second group just did some stretching exercises.
After a year, those in the first group had increases in hippocampus volume, by 2.12 % in the left hippocampus, and 1.97% in the right hippocampus. In contrast, those in the second group had decreased hippocampus volume, by 1.40% and 1.43% respectively.
According to the researchers, reduction the volume of the hippocampus is normal over the years, however not inevitable, as they showed that people who followed a regular program of aerobic exercise, managed to increase the volume of the hippocampus, while their brains remained pliable even at this age.
Moreover, according to the researchers, more intense aerobic exercise may have even better results, although this was not within the scope of this study.
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