The Ageing Brain & Exercise

whats-your-excuse-fitness-motivation-triumphExercise – training for your body & brain!

We all know that exercise is good for your body – protecting you against diseases and conditions related to ageing. The good news about exercise doesn’t stop with the physical benefits though. More and more research is discovering that exercise has a positive effect on our brain and slowing the cognitive decline usually associated with ageing.

Thanks to Dionne for sharing her expertise in this area. A really interesting snapshot article from a fellow metafitter who practices what she preaches!!

Exercise has been known for years to be advantageous to cardio-vascular health, protecting against diseases associated with ageing. There is increasing evidence to suggest that exercise benefits age related and neurobiological cognitive decline. BUT the question is how much, how long and how often and what intensity is required to be beneficial? Is more, really more? In the face of such public uncertainty and debate, researchers have been eager to answer these questions!

Data collected from animal models suggest that cardiovascular fitness training (CFT) directly correlates to improvement in cognitive performance. In animals, aerobic exercise has been found to increase brain- derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels and other important neurochemicals. This increases neurological survival and new neuron development. This means that the brain is more efficient, plastic and adaptive, which results in better learning and performance in adulthood.

Physical exercise, but not spare-time activity, at 36 years was found to be significantly associated with a slower rate of decline in memory from 43 to 53 years, after controlling for the same factors. Those who engaged in physical exercise showed on average a half-point slower decrease over those who did none. Those who gave up exercising after 36 years did not show the same benefit as those who were exercising at 43 years, either new or continuing. The results suggest that continued engagement in physical exercise slows down the rate of memory decline and that cognitive benefit of physical exercise is enhanced by persistent or more recent activity.

Further studies have also suggested that interval training increases in circulating growth factors is connected to temporal lobe functional brain connectivity in healthy older adults. Future research could focus on discovering that Metafit with its short duration and intensity would provide optimal changes in growth factors and how it may be beneficial to cognition and disease progression.


Dr Dionne Shnider
Psychologist and Clinical Hypnotherapist
Provider no. 2713214W