For seniors “walking down memory lane” shouldn’t just be a figurative, mental exercise. A study lead by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, demonstrates that in the elderly aerobic exercise, like walking, stimulates a section of the brain involved with memory.
This study observed 120 sedentary individuals between the ages of 55 and 80. Half of the test group began walking regularly to increase their heart rates. Among the older people who participated in the walking program, the region of the brain in control of memory expanded in size by about 2%.
Scientists say that this research reinforces previous findings that aerobic exercise seems to reduce memory loss in early-stage Alzheimer’s patients and to improve mental tests among the elderly with mental problems.