Cardio sessions may literally make your brain bigger
Participants in the study did all types of cardio – the stationary bike, walking and running – two to five times a week for anywhere between three months and two years.
By the end of the 14 clinical trials, researchers found that even though exercise didn’t have an impact on the overall size of the hippocampus (the part of your brain that controls memory), the left region of it actually did get bigger.
“Our data showed that, rather than actually increasing the size of the hippocampus per se, the main ‘brain benefits’ are due to aerobic exercise slowing down the deterioration in brain size,” Dr Joseph Firth, research fellow at NICM, said in a statement.
“In other words, exercise can be seen as a maintenance program for the brain.”