Running is good for your brain – and so are all get fit activities

As we grow older our brains begin to shrink. However, there is hope for the running and the active among us!

University of Edinburgh researchers have reported that brain shrinkage is less for people over 70 years old when they take regular exercise.

In addition, the researchers also found that those who get fit and keep fit had more grey matter (ie the nerve cell bodies) and more white matter (the connections that pass messages from one part of the brain to another).

Interestingly, the researchers also found that brain health did not see a benefit from social of mentally stimulating activies – although there is plenty of research to show that mental activity can prevent or slow the onset of dementia.

The team from Edinburgh looked at keep fit activities which ranged from keeping the house tidy to joining a gym class or personal fitness trainer or participating in competitive sports such as race running.

Professor Goodwin – who led the research – said that ‘we already know that exercise helps reduce old age illness such as alzheimers… [but this research] opens the doors to tailored exercise programmes.”

Of course, readers of FitNW won’t be suprised to read this, but is it still good to know that the evidence is growing to support what we already intuitively know.

And that is, that exercise and diet are key to remaining fit and healthy both physically and mentally.

This research was funded by Age UK who have also written a report on how exercise keeps us mentally and physically healthy.

Neil Lewis

Neil Lewis

Male, Chester

I'm an entrepreneur, runner (as of 5 years), dad, husband and entrepreneur. This year I've completed three 10k runs - Port Sunlight,  Manchester Great Run and the Natterjacks Southport run. My goal is to complete a 10k at below 50 minutes. I'm late 40's & want to keep healthy and fit for a long time yet... and that's what drives me to run. If you are looking for a running companion - up to 10 KM - in the Chester, area, get in touch. I can help set people up in business or just help people get great health and fitness products that can keep them fit, healthy and running for longer. Get in touch if you want to find out more about what I do and the Forever FIT products I work with. Or you can directly order from our shop.

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