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Walking Exercise Improves Mental Sharpness

Posted: Friday, February 27, 2004

Exercise has many benefits, both mental and physical. Now a team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reveals that there are specific positive effects on the brain from physical activity. They used functional magnetic resonance imaging – a way of looking at the brain’s activity – to measure changes in a group of older adults before and after a six month program of aerobic exercise.

They identified changes in the middle-frontal and superior parietal regions of the brain with improved aerobic fitness. These areas are concerned with keeping goals in mind and with attention. On a computer based decision making test, the participants were able to act more quickly, reflecting these changes in brain activity.

The exercise used in this study consisted of gradually increasing periods of walking over three months. For the final three months, the subjects were doing a brisk walk for 45 minutes in three sessions each week. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition 16th February 2004

Learn about the First Step Program, a program to increase physical activity, that has gone through 8 years of clinical studies to show it’s effectiveness.

Source: Diabetes In

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