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 Enjoying a Beach Walk

By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on August 27, 2010

Researchers have discovered that moderate exercise, such as walking for 40 minutes three times a week, can enhance cognitive skills.

Specifically, the exercise can improve the connectivity of important brain circuits, mitigate declines in brain function associated with aging and improve performance on cognitive tasks.

Researchers followed a group of “professional couch potatoes,” composed of 65 adults ages 59 to 80, who joined a walking group or stretching and toning group for a year.

All of the participants were sedentary before the study, reporting less than two episodes of physical activity lasting 30 minutes or more in the previous six months. The researchers also measured brain activity in 32 younger (18- to 35-year-old) adults.

The study is published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

Rather than focusing on specific brain structures, the study looked at activity in brain regions that function together as networks.

“Almost nothing in the brain gets done by one area – it’s more of a circuit,” said University of Illinois psychology professor and Beckman Institute Director Art Kramer, who led the study.

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/08/27/walking-is-good-brain-exercise/17326.html



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