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Take your Brain for a Walk and Reduce Dementia

couple walking at sunsetA recent study undertaken at the University of Pittsburgh in the USA has shown that regular short walks will slow the shrinking of the brain and help maintain the faltering mental ability often associated with old age.

In the study men and women between the ages of 60 and 80 were asked to take 3 short walks, of between 30 and 40 minutes, each week for a period of a year. It was found that this resulted in an increase in the size of the parts of the brain associated with planning and memory.

Whilst the increase in size of these parts of the brain was only 2% to 3%, this was enough to maintain brain function and is indeed not a reduction in size as was witnessed in the control group who did not perform the exercise. The prefrontal cortex and hippocampus were the main parts of the brain to benefit.

“It may sound like a modest amount but that’s actually like reversing the age clock by about one to two years,” said Professor Kirk Erickson, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh.

“While the brain is shrinking, we actually saw not a levelling out but an increase in the size of these regions. It was better than before we started the study.”

The participants in the study reported better spatial memory results and some reported feeling more mentally alert. They felt better generally and some reported that they felt as though a fog had been lifted.

There is a very good reason for this. Movement and walking flood the brain and the nerve superhighway with important information about balance, position and movement. Just like a pathway across a grassy meadow, the more people walk along the path the more established it is. So it is with nerve pathways; the more nerve traffic and the more established it is, the easier it is to travel along. This increased function, or traffic, builds up stronger nerve connections which lead to an increase in nerve tissue. This means that the brain size increases.

Our Healing is Innate

This is similar to the effect of regular chiropractic care. When clients first visit a chiropractor work is done to allow the body to function better mechanically and neurologically. As the body repairs damaged muscles, ligaments, and nerves, the body as a whole that functions more efficiently. This new efficient collaboration allows the body to draw on a more complete pool of resources and harness these together to form a healing event.

Physiology functions more accurately, dynamically responding to the challenges of the environment, drawing on such functions as immune ability, cellular repair and cardiovascular interaction. The more accurate and full these functions are, the better the body seems to operate and a raised level of vitality is evident.

The body begins to heal where it did not before and tissue repairs, reducing pain and increasing function. This process almost seems magical but remember that this is how the body is designed – to heal. Healing does not come from the chiropractor or from anywhere else outside the body. It is always resident within if given the opportunity to function.

2 Join the Conversation

  1. Miss A Osborn says
    Jan 21, 2021 at 12:42 PM

    I find that a walk first thing in the morning, works for me. It helps if the sun is shining of course! In this current lockdown, people still have to walk their dogs, take their young children out (if not at pre-school/school) and just people getting some exercise. I have never been much of a runner but I like to do a brisk walk. When possible I like to have a walk with my family.

    • says
      Jan 22, 2021 at 11:07 AM

      Thank you Anne for your comments and great suggestions. We hope your enjoyed reading the article. Regular exercise can have a positive impact on our health, and I am pleased to read you are making the most of your mornings.

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