Exercise Is Good for Your Brain

Friday, May 09, 2014

Running Running (Copyright: Warren Goldswain/Shutterstock)

New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds discusses a large-scale Cardia study, which shows that the more physically active you are at age 25, the better your thinking tends to be when you reach middle age. The findings also suggest that even if you neglected to exercise when you were young, if can start now you can still improve the health of your brain. She wrote about it in her article "Early Fitness Can Improve the Middle-Age Brain."


Gretchen Reynolds

Comments [2]

Molly from Cold Spring, NY

I'm so glad you pointed that out, mj from NJ. It was making me scream as I listened. It's just bad science to not have a baseline of memory from age 25 to compare the memory at age 50 to. The conclusion is a guess at best. How does something so seemingly flawed make it into the New York Times, supposedly the paper "of record"? I also took issue with the story she cited about people who walk having enhanced creativity. OF COURSE THEY DO. When you're sitting at your desk, you're focused either on work at hand, or work to be done, or any of a million other distractions and to-dos. Same at home. When you're walking or otherwise exercising, you tend to be more in the moment - and when the brain is less occupied, more creative thoughts can make their way in. This by no means proves that exercise causes enhanced creativity.

May. 09 2014 05:31 PM
mj from NJ

As far as I could tell from the program, cognitive function was NoT tested at the young adult stage. How then do you conclude that better cognitive function is related to being fit at 25/young adult. Smarter 25 year olds may simply be more fit and active. Consequently, at 50, they may still rank ahead in cognitive function. I believe the study only works if you can show less decline in cognitive function from 25 to 50. And you can't show this if you didn't test function at 25.

May. 09 2014 01:38 PM

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