Many scientific studies have shown that routine exercise and staying physically in shape can improve memory and slow down normal age related memory decline. There are several reasons why this might be the case.
First, a healthy cardiovascular system is better able to deliver a steady supply of oxygen rich blood to the brain. This increased blood flow can lead to increased numbers of synapses. These extra synapses act like a cognitive reserve that can help to delay the onset of common memory disorders.
A second benefit for physical exercise is that it decreases cholesterol and hypertension which can damage the tiny blood vessels in your brain and cause memory problems.
A third benefit comes from the proper regulation of blood sugar levels in the body, which can be improved by loosing weight. It has been shown that improved blood sugar regulation can result in better memory. In one study, people with poor blood sugar regulation were discovered to have a smaller hippocampus, which is essential for good memories.
Lastly, during exercise the brain releases neurotrophins which strengthen neurons and encourage new growth.
A minimum of thirty minutes of exercise each day is the recommended amount necessary to stay in good physical shape. Here are some simple suggestions for ways to add a little exercise into your daily life: take the stairs instead of the elevator, ride your bike to work, jog on a treadmill while watching TV.
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