Exercise will improve your memory [K. I. Erickson et al; PNAS 108(7); 2011; P3017-3011]. In the elderly the memory part of the brain called the hippocampus shrinks in size as memory decreases. Exercise and nutrition will increase the size of the hippocampus and cause memory improvement thus reversing the effects of aging. The University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular vigorous aerobic exercise [heart rate near maximal] increases the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results.
[Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsports-2013]
Tarumi and Zhang;Texas Presbyterian Hospital,Dallas; the Role of Exercise-Induced Cardiovascular Adaptation in Brain Health; Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews 43(4); 2015.
Exercise increases brain perfusion, structure, and function. There is a hermetic dose response between intensity of exercise and brain health. Regular exercise decreases age related cognitive decline.
We are living longer and we are seeing an increased incidence of Alzheimer Disease [the most common form of dementia]. World wide incidence of 33.9 million and expected to triple by 2050. There is no known prevention nor cure. Alzheimer’s Disease begins with deterioration in memory and inability to acquire new knowledge. Before death, individuals with this disorder become dependent on caregivers. The pathological and x-ray hallmarks of the AD brain are the neuritic extracellular amyloid plaques—which are frequently surrounded by dystrophic neurites—and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles.
Epidemiological studies have suggested that risk factors for vascular disease and stroke are associated with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, and that the presence of cerebrovascular disease intensifies the presence and severity of the clinical symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease [Monique M.B. Breteler; Neurobiology of Aging 21(2); 2000.]. This suggests a metabolic role in the development of dementia.
[Colcombe et al; J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci (2003) 58 (2) ]. MRI scans of adults 55 years of age and older showed declines in tissue densities as a function of age in the frontal, parietal, and temporal cortices. Losses in these areas were substantially reduced as a function of cardiovascular fitness.
A meta-analytic study was conducted by Stanley Colcombe and Arthur Kramer; Psychological Science March 2003 vol. 14 no. 2 125-130 . The examined the hypothesis that aerobic fitness training enhances the cognitive vitality of healthy but sedentary older adults. Eighteen intervention studies published between 1966 and 2001 were entered into the analysis. Fitness training was found to have benefits for cognition, with the most benefits occurring for executive-control processes. The magnitude of fitness effects on cognition was moderated by the length of the exercise; the type of exercise; the duration of the sessions; and the gender of the study participants. Women benefit more than men.