Physical Exercise and Nutrition DO affect our brain performance and brain health.
As you may know, I am a big fan of the well-known author and brain specialist, Dr. Daniel Amen. He mentions in several of his books that Physical Exercise is good for the brain. I have read of research studies that showed a clear correlation between IMPROVEMENT in students' test scores in math and science, and their level of physical activity (for example, when math class followed PE class, the students had significantly higher scores). Maybe we should schedule PE before all math classes in our schools. What do you think about that idea?
This morning I read an online article on the myhealthnewsdaily site, entitled "6 Foods That Are Good for Your Brain," and another article about how Physical Exercise helps maintain healthy brain in older adults too. The second article, "For a Healthy Brain, Physical Exercise Trumps Mental Workout" was found under Yahoo News.
The remainder of this note is quoted from that article:
Regular physical exercise appears to protect the brain from shrinking, an otherwise natural process in old age that is associated with memory and thinking problems.
Conversely, mentally and socially stimulating activities, long believed to stimulate the brain, had no major effect on preventing brain shrinkage, according to a study published today (Oct. 22) in the journal Neurology.
In other words, if you want to maximize the mind-enriching benefits of playing chess, pick a match across town and run or walk vigorously to it.
This relatively large brain-imaging study, which included brain scans using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), involved more than 600 people in Scotland between the ages 70 and 73. The researchers found a strong and direct correlation revealing that as physical exercise increases, brain shrinkage decreases.
"People in their seventies who participated in more physical exercise, including walking several times a week, had less brain shrinkage and other signs of aging in the brain than those who were less physically active," said lead author Alan J. Gow of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. "On the other hand, our study showed no real benefit to participating in mentally and socially stimulating activities on brain size, as seen on MRI scans, over the three-year time frame."