Aerobic exercise increases the brain size and decrease brain function
Representational picture Reuters

Brain functioning tends to deteriorate with age. However, a recent study shows that regular exercise and aerobics like walking, running and cycling can improve brain function. Aerobic exercises can help increase the brain size thus enhancing the memory function. It also provides a good brain health, says a new research.

The brain health decreases with age, and the average brain shrinks by 5 percent after the age of 40, as mentioned in the study published in the journal Neuroimage.

Aerobic exercises help a particular section of the brain known as the hippocampus. This section is significant for memory and other brain functions. It may also help in preventing Alzheimer's and dementia.

Joseph Firth, a researcher at the Western Sydney University in Australia stated that while exercising a chemical is produced called the brain-derived neurotrophic factor which helps prevent age-related decline in the brain.

The researchers studied 14 clinical trials, which included brain scans of 737 people before and after aerobic exercise programs. The participants were all aged between 24 to 76 years. The group included a mix of healthy adults, people with mild cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer's and other mental problems like depression and schizophrenia.

The researchers examined the effects of aerobic exercise which included stationary cycling, walking and treadmill running. The length of interventions ranged from three to 24 months and there were 2-5 sessions per week.

The results showed that while exercise had no significant effect on the total volume of the hippocampus, it did increase the size of the left region of the hippocampus in humans.

With inputs from IANS.