How exercise changes your brain

September 8, 2015

An article in The New York Times this week has shed light on the changes that take place in the brain in response to exercise. The story focused on a series of brain scans performed on a lady who started exercising at the age of 77 and went on to set numerous world records in masters track and field competition.

In short, when compared to other 90 somethings who were studied, her brain showed:

Fewer abnormalities in the white matter (the cells that help to transmit messages from one part of the brain to another), and

Her hippocampus was larger (this portion of the brain is involved in memory)

Another study cited in the article found that the most physically active 60-80 year olds had more oxygen delivered to their brain, and healthier patterns of brain activity than more sedentary people. This was especially noticeable in the areas of the brain involved in memory and cognition.