Living Well: A Memory Tonic for the Aging Brain

Do you find yourself forgetting things that you should remember? Are you wishing that you could somehow improve your memory?

Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times has a suggestion. In “A Memory Tonic for the Aging Brain,” she reports that physical exercise has a positive effect on memory. The article begins by chronicling what many of us over-50 folk have experienced: memory weakens with age. Yet the news is not all bad:

But there is hope, Dr. Yassa said. “Exercise is one of the things that might directly change this process,” he said. In other experiments, exercise has been found to jump-start neurogenesis, or the creation of new brain cells, especially in the dentate gyrus, he said, potentially improving that area’s health and functioning. . . .

“What I’d say for now is that you can’t go wrong by exercising,” he said. “We don’t know if it can reverse” any damage if you already have memory slips. But there are indications that it might slow or possibly prevent memory deterioration, if you begin exercising early enough — meaning that, among the many benefits of a health club membership, your workout may help you to recall where in the gym parking lot you left your car.

Of course we all know that exercise is good for our bodies. But it may be good for our minds too.

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  • Tim Thurman

    Over the last six months, I have lost a ton of weight and have gotten in shape. Perhaps the most surprising thing to me is how much better I am thinking and remembering things.  It works…

  • Anonymous

    Excellent. Way to go!

  • Dcbsky

    I’ll just say this: My dad retired and did no physical exercise.  His memory and cognitive skills dropped like a rock until his passing a dozen years later, very sad.

    Louie Zamperini, on the other hand….

  • Anonymous

    Your dad’s story is all too common. Yes, Louie exemplifies the other approach to aging!

  • Joe Baur

    Mat 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt]. this is why Christ had to die on Cross. Do not turn Christ’s triumph and victory into a philosophical bantering.  A philosopher cannot find Christ inside his little head. No. A man can only find christ in His Word.Oh you lofty thinkers, He has confounded the wise.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comment.

  • Evan

    Heard from an older preacher:

    “Now that I am older, I have started to think more and more about the hereafter.

    “I walk into a room and think, ‘What’d I come in here after??'”

  • Anonymous

    Ugh. Too true.