Exercise for Memory Retention

Work your body, and you will also work your brain.

A new study shows exercising regularly helps reduce memory loss.

Health experts have long touted the benefits of hitting the gym or staying active. Elisa Zied of the American Dietetic Association says, "It's a no brainer, we know that exercise is something everyone should try to incorporate."

Now, a new study conducted at Columbia University Medical Center suggests exercise may improve a person's memory.

Researchers there were the first to track brain cells within a living brain in an attempt to identify the part most affected by exercise.

Doctors found exercise targets the region associated with the age-related memory decline that usually begins at age 30.

Participants of the study who were physically active ended up doing better on memory tests than people who did not exercise. Many health and nutrition experts say it is one more reason to get moving. "We've known for a long time you get this burst of energy and feel-good chemicals when you exercise, so its not that much of a stretch that it is actually going to preserve your mental function as you get older," says Zied.

Doctors say the next step is finding out the benefits of specific exercises and tailoring a workout regimen to stop memory loss in its tracks no matter what the age.

The study was published in this week's edition of the National Academy of Sciences.

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