I’ve talked before about exercise and brain growth. In The New York Times Magazine (9/20/09), an article written by Gretchen Reynolds cites some new research corroborating my earlier data on exercise and brain neurogenesis. What’s key to note in this article is that it appears the type of exercise induces growth in different regions of the brain. For several years, researchers have known that exercise changes structures in the brain and affects thinking. The new research looks at moderate aerobic activity, strenuous aerobic activity, and weight lifting. The more strenuous the activity, the more brain stimulation and growth in several areas of the brain. Moderate activity didn’t stimulate quite as many areas, and weight lifting seemed to be confined only to muscle changes. The thinking is that the more strenuous exercise causes the various growth factors from the periphery of the body into the brain, and a significant blood flow must occur for this to happen, like when you run, or cycle, or swim. Bottom line is that any form of regular exercise, if it’s aerobic, will maintain or even increase our brain functions. What a wonderful thing.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.