We know that aerobic exercise, like walking, swimming, running, or biking, are good for our brain. It improves our mood, gives us energy and …boosts our memory! According to a recent small study, white matter of our brain, which is responsible for communication between neurons, can also benefit from aerobic exercise, improving memory recall in healthy older people aged 60-79 years old.
The researchers found that people who walked or danced 40 minutes 3 times a week had an increase in their white matter after only 6 months! Especially the positive changes were detected in the brain regions that are most vulnerable to aging, such as the corpus callosum and cingulum, which confer important cognitive abilities, like memory and executive function.
There were also noticable differences between those, who walked, danced or just did some low-intensity exercises (think about stretching or balancing training). The “walking” participants improved better their episodic memory and were more able to recall memories from their life than the “dancing” participants. The researchers explain that these extra benefits might be due to a stronger aerobic influence that made their hearts work more intensively during walking compared to dancing. In other words, the activities that really raise the heart rate might be better in maintaining brain health during the aging process. As for people with low-intensity exercises, they experienced a normal, slow decline in white matter over 6 months, and no changes in episodic memory.
Curious? HERE is the source