Aerobics Improve Brain Function

Boosts Volume and Gray Matter




Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com

Researchers from the Wake Forest School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, have found that aerobic exercise increases overall brain volume and gray matter, and helps improve brain function.

Thirty-five adults with mild cognitive impairment were split into an aerobic group and a stretching group. The aerobic group participated in moderate-to-vigorous exercise four times per week for six months, while the others did stretching exercises at the same rate. The researchers used magnetic resolution imaging with each participant at the beginning of the study and after six months to determine potential changes in the brain.

They found that both groups showed volume increases in gray matter regions linked to short-term memory, but the aerobic group displayed a larger preservation of overall brain volume. They also had greater improvements in cognitive function.


This article appears in the November 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Gardening for Kids

Give kids a patch of dirt and a trowel, and they’ll not only have fun but can find a fresh new appetite for fruit and vegetables.

Toxic Legacy

Women in growing numbers are joining together to deal with the long-term, serious health threats posed by saline and silicone implants.

Plants Talk

Plants may not be raising an audible ruckus, but scientists are finding they communicate silently with each other through smells, hearing and underground networks.

Dancing Prevents Senior Decline

Elderly Japanese women who danced for exercise were 73 percent less likely to be impaired eight years later doing “activities of daily living” such as walking, cooking, dressing and bathing.

U.S. Heart Disease on the Rise

An estimated 48 percent of American adults have cardiovascular disease, but about 80 percent of the time the disease can be prevented with precautionary medical care and lifestyle changes.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Springtime Smile Party at Groton Wellness

Drop by Groton Wellness from 6:30 to 8 p.m., May 7, for a free Springtime Smile Party celebrating the grand opening of its new pediatric and orthodontic space.

SBN’s 30th Annual Conference on Sustainable Business

The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts will host its 30th annual Conference on Sustainable Business from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., May 31.

Save Money on Local Produce with CSA

Every day of the week during the summer, Clover Food Lab turns into a pickup point for the best farmshares in New England.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

An Often-Missed Diagnosis in Women
The source of a woman’s obstructive sleep apnea symptoms can be misdiagnosed because of the overlapping symptoms associated with hormone changes and depression.

Mental Health Diet

Using Food as Medicine for Anxiety and Depression
The greatest strategy to decrease inflammation and thus support optimal mental health is through consuming an anti-inflammatory diet where food is used as medicine.

The Ultimate Heroes

Our May issue arrives with spring in the air and “Her Soul in Bloom: Self-Care for All Stages of Life,” Marlaina Donato’s blissful feature on the importance of me-time.